Will memories of Liberty National aid Anirban’s last-ditch attempt?

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Nothing short of a top-10 on the final day of The Northern Trust will do for Anirban Lahiri as attempts to progress in the FedExCup Playoffs. Photo: PGTI
Nothing short of a top-10 on the final day of The Northern Trust will do for Anirban Lahiri as he attempts to progress in the FedExCup Playoffs. Photo: PGTI

The setting of the 2017 Presidents Cup was the Liberty National Golf Club, the venue of The Northern Trust. In a few hours, Anirban Lahiri will be making a last, desperate attempt to extend his PGA Tour season by making it to this week’s BMW Championship.

Given his position, it is a tall order as Anirban, 121st on the FedExCup standings, needs to break into the top-70 to progress to the BMW Championship. After a steady start at Liberty National, Anirban ground out an even-par round on Saturday, which saw him slip to the fringes and did not aid his case in The Northern Trust and the plans of going deep in the Playoffs.

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The storm on Sunday came as a respite for the tired body and mind of Anirban as the PGA Tour took a call on a Monday finish. The task is cut out for the Indian star. Nothing less than a top-10 finish will do, and Anirban is currently eight shots off that mark.

But he has a major ally on his side as he goes about the job. The stirring memories of an equally inspiring outing towards the close of the 2017 Presidents Cup here as part of the International team against the US.

The lionhearted show over the weekend, Anirban witthout a point  won 1.5 of the 2 points at stake to win all-round praise. Jordan Spieth was by the 18th green to show appreciation but the best was reserved for the team press conference. International teammate Emiliano Grillo placed a hand-written note before Anirban’s spot on the head table which read, “Anirban Big Balls Lahiri”.

Several seasons down, Anirban will need to draw heavily from that week as he endeavours to make it count on Monday. Asked about it, he was emphatic.

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“There is a big difference between playing this week and playing that week, primarily because that was a matchplay event, this is a strokeplay event. The golf course was set up differently, in fact, even the course routine was different. The other difference is I’m here now in August as opposed to October or late September. The weather’s different. It’s a lot warmer now.

“But I’ve been here and kind of know what to expect. I know what the golf course looks like. Yeah, I have good memories. I had a very memorable day here four years ago, so there’s definitely a good, positive connection with the venue. Hopefully, I can build more positive memories this time around,” he said.

Hope floats and here is on to Monday’s round.