PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA (AP) ,Anirban Lahiri arrived at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday afternoon to do some experimenting, worried about what he would face early Sunday morning. He brought his warm-weather gear to the range in a duffel bag, put everything on, and figured out which combination of clothes provided him the most mobility in his swing.
“I was as prepared as I could be, I think,” he explained, “but this morning I had four layers on.”
Lahiri dropped out in 39th and appeared to be fading from the picture at The Players in those very cold temperatures (with a wind chill in the mid-20s). Then, on the 11th hole, he struck an 11-foot eagle and was on his way, recovering a 73 to stay in contention.
“I was a little worried going to bed last night because of how chilly it was going to be,” he admitted. “I’m not used to playing in temps below 40 degrees, and I struggled a little when I first got out, but it was fantastic to get back into a solid process and rhythm.”
Lahiri took advantage of the slightly warmer and calmer conditions in the afternoon, making five birdies on his outward nine. He two-putted for a last birdie after a bogey on the 10th hole before the horn blew to stop play.
With 25 holes remaining, Lahiri will have a one-shot lead when The Players resumes at 8 a.m. ET Monday.
“Today I made a lot of solid strokes,” he added. “I simply kept it in front of me and made smart decisions.” “It was a wonderful day.”
The freezing temperatures reminded Lahiri of the coldest weather he’d ever experienced while competing in the Ballestine’s Championship in South Korea in 2013.
“I was on the verge of hypothermia the entire day,” he admitted. “I was thrilled that I didn’t make the cut.”
Lahiri will be happy to see the cooler weather for Monday: highs in the upper 60s with winds about 15 mph, compared to four layers on Sunday.
Leave a Reply