Sports

Upbeat Lahiri happy to be back at Players; fans to get ‘every shot live’

V Krishnaswamy Ponte Vedra | Updated on March 10, 2021

Anirban Lahiri   -  Peter Morrison

Anirban Lahiri, who made the field when former World No. 1 Brooks Koepka was forced to pull out due to injury, hopes his fifth attempt at the Players Championship, the Tour’s flagship event, tees off this week.

Lahiri, who has missed the cut three times, made the halfway cut in 2019 but then missed the 54-hole cut. He now hopes to make up for all that and is looking at a solid week at a course he loves but has not been able to grip around.

A candid Lahiri said, “It's nice to be back. I didn't realize it's my fifth time back. I really like this golf course, I love the way it is set up and I feel like it's one of those tracks where I can do really well. My record doesn't show that though.”

Lahiri has played at the Players both in May and March and sees a weather change between the two periods. “Well, obviously, three of my previous appearances were in May, with different weather. I played in 2019 March. But it's going to be slightly different in terms of the temperatures and the wind. If anything, I think this is probably a better wind for my game style. So the one thing I haven't done as well in the past is probably hit as many fairways as you need to. On the weekend, the greens are going to get really firm and fast, we all know that, so it's going to be critical to come in from the short grass to really control the ball and that's going to be my main focus this week. “

Lahiri did not make it to the field at last year’s edition of Players, and the event itself was cancelled after the first round and the Tour shut down for three months.

Lahiri said, “Well I think it's been a year now, a full circle pretty much since Covid struck the golfing world. For me, it was, there was a lot of good that came out of it. I did get a lot done in India, I went back for the Hero Indian Open, which was the week after THE PLAYERS last year. And that ended up being a good thing for me, because I got a lot of time at home with my coach and just managed to reassemble all the parts that were kind of getting a little rickety.”

On what it would take to make a serious bid for the title, Lahiri elaborated, “I mean, all the guys who have won here previously have driven the ball really well and putted really well. I think those are the two things that are going to be really, really important. So you have to have all the departments firing and also that's why it's not so heavily dominated by someone who hits it miles or who has a really exceptional short game, you got to do everything good and you got to drive and putt well more than anything else.”

The 154-player field includes more than 100 PGA Tour winners and 48 of the world’s Top-50 are at TPC Sawgrass, including Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Bryson Dechambeau, Justin Thomas and many others.

This week during the Players Championship, golf fans will be able to enjoy ‘Every Shot Live’ on GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR, made available exclusively by the PGA TOUR.

It will be available from the first round, and every shot by every player will be live-streamed on GOLFTV allowing fans to follow any player in the elite field. More than 32,000 shots are expected over 72 holes from a starting field. Fans will choose what players to watch, how you watch and stream on different devices.

Published on March 10, 2021

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