Star Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri hoped to build on the momentum after carding one-under 71 to lie tied 38th after the second round of the Puerto Rico Open here. Lahiri, who had carded two-under 70 in the opening round, was three-under 141 at the halfway stage.
Returning to action after a difficult four months, Arjun Atwal missed the cut with rounds of 71-76 and also missing out on weekend action is Daniel Chopra (74-71). Brandon Wu, 24, birdied his last two holes in the second round for a five-under 67, which included four-under for back nine in windy conditions at the Grand Reserve. He birdied the par-4 12th, par-5 15th, par-4 17th and par-5 18th to reach 11-under 133.
Lahiri was left with mixed feeling after the end of the day. “It’s been two days of some very average golf and I just have not hit enough fairways, especially on the par fives. I think my driving has been a weak link so far this week,” he said.
“Having said that, I think today, towards the end of my round the last four or five holes. I really felt like I found something. So to that extent, and I’m really excited about the weekend.” Lahiri said his “short game as such has not be as good.” “It’s been one of those weeks where I probably operated at 40 per cent. But like I said to towards the end of the round I think I had a lot of good quality golf shots. Didn’t have birdies to show for it except for the last hole.”
Talking about the conditions, the Indian said, “It is extremely windy. At the same time, I think it’s set up in a way that you can still make birdies. “You have to hit quality golf shots and you have to have really good control on your golf ball but for that you have to hit the fairway and put yourself in a position where you can actually control the spin and the flight.
“So yeah, like I said, tomorrow is a great opportunity. I think I’ll have to try and maximize the utilisation of the par fives. Honestly, they are the best scoring opportunities and you are going to get a lot of difficult holes as well.” Australian Greg Chalmers, 47, was a stroke behind after a 68 and he also birdied his final two holes. Home star Rafael Campos (69) and South Africa’s Branden Grace (68) were 9-under. Jhonattan Vegas (68) and Cameron Percy (69) were 8-under.
First-round leader Tommy Gainey followed his opening 65 with a 76 to enter the weekend at 3-under. Ian Poulter also was 3-under after a 70. The tournament is being played opposite the World Golf Championship event in Florida. The winner will get into the PGA Championship in May.