Golf: Lahiri cards 77, slips to T-52 at Sanderson Farms C’ship

Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri had a tough time on the pure and fast greens at the Country Club of Jackson, carding a five-over 77 in the third round to slip to T-52 at the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Lahiri’s sole bright spot of the day was an eight-foot putt for birdie on the second hole on the moving day.

Time and again, the Indian missed inside 6-7 feet putts and dropped a lot of shots for 5-over 77, equalling his worst round in 2020 at the American Express in January.

He tumbled from eight-under through 36 holes to three-under after 54 and dropped from T-7 to T-52.

Lahiri, who was five behind the then-leader Keegan Bradley after the second round, is now 11 behind the new leader Cameron Davis (63), Sergio Garcia and JT Poston (69), who are all 14-under.

The Indian needs a Top-10 finish to get into next week’s Shriners Children’s Hospital Open in Las Vegas.

In terms of statistics on shots gained in putting, Lahiri, who had gained 1.89 strokes on the first day, lost 4.41 on the third day. He was marginally better in terms of finding the fairways he found just three on the second day and it was six in the third round and he reached 10 of the 18 greens in regulation.

Among the areas that Lahiri would be concerned about is the Par-5 scoring. He was two-under for the Par-5s on the first day and then even par for those long holes on second.

On the third day, he dropped a shot each on two of them on front nine and parred the other two. On the 612-yard Par-5 fifth, he reached the green in three and then three-putted from 12 feet for a bogey.

His putting, which was working so well on Thursday, had just disappeared. He dropped a 4-footer for par on Par-5 fifth, a six-footer for par on Par-4 eighth and in between missed two other putts of 11 to 13 feet on front nine.

On the back nine, he again missed putts inside six feet on 11th, 13th and 15th. His longest putt during the day was eight feet five inches on the second and it fetched him his sole birdie.

Lahiri’s third-round playing partner Brandt Snedeker put together a fine back nine with four birdies in his 67 and with Kristoffer Ventura, he was tied for fourth at 13 under.

Overnight leader, Keegan Bradley, Denny McCarthy and Aaron Wise are tied for 6th at 12 under.

Garcia, who revealed that he has often been putting with his eyes closed to get a better feel, seems to be doing great as he shot a bogey free six-under 66 to share the 54-hole lead in his debut at the Country Club of Jackson.

As many as 10 players are separated by four shots, setting up for a tight battle on Sunday.

Davis opened with five straight birdies, and the Australian’s biggest highlight was a second shot to 10 feet for eagle on the par-5 14th hole that carried him to a 9-under 63.

He posted 14-under 202, and later Garcia and Poston joined him. Poston did reach 15-under but dropped a shot on 16th to fall to 14-under as he saved a par on 18th from the bunker.