Mid-round tumble on Day 2 sees Lahiri fighting to make cut
Ponte Vedra (US), May 12 (PTI) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri slumped to a mid-round tumble that saw him fall from a comfortable 3-under and Tied 27th in the first round to a precarious even par after the second round at the PLAYERS Championships here.
Lahiri (69-75) was lying at T-80 with more than half the field yet to complete.
The current projected cut line was 1-under, but could well fall to even par, in which case Lahiri would make it to the weekend for the first time in three starts at the PLAYERS.
Meanwhile, former world amateur number one Patrick Cantlay, one of the six co-leaders after first day, now shared the lead with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel at 10-under.
Schwartzel shot 33-33 in the two halves following his first 68 and Cantlay, opening the day with three birdies, shot 68.
Chesson Hadley, who went to 12-under through 16 before doubling 17th and bogeying 18th, finished at 9-under, while 2016 winner Jason Day (69-67) was Tied-4th with veteran Steve Stricker (67-69) and young Xander Schauffele (68-68).
World No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Alex Noren and Webb Simpson, all at 66, were yet to start their second round.
Lahiri stumbled in the second round after making a great start with birdies on sixth and seventh, which saw him rise to 5-under and Tied-8th at that early stage on Friday.
A missed par-putt on eighth saw him drop his first bogey on the day, but the ninth may well have been the turning point of the day. The bogey on Par-5 ninth after missing par from 12 feet was a disappointment. Then came a three-putt on 10th and that ruined the day and the round.
The short birdie miss on 11th and then a bad swing on Par-3 15th, which Lahiri called as "pretty much the only bad swing all day", were followed by a bogey on 16th, which was the final straw.
"It was like a two-shot swing, from a birdie chance to bogey," he said.
Still Lahiri did well to par the 17th and 18th.
"I did not wake advantage of the Par-5s like I should. I didn't put myself in the right positions and I allowed the momentum to slip away after being 2-under through 7 in second round. I three-putted on nine and allowed things to get away from me on 10 and 11 and so on."
So at even par for 36 holes, he will have to wait to see if he was staying on for the weekend or exiting early yet again.
"Looking at positives, my game trended in the right direction, except that I did not score well again. But I did hit better shots at times. I can taste it that my game is just around the corner," said Lahiri, still managing a smile in rather warm conditions.
"It is not getting any easier out there, the 17th and 18th are very demanding and I am just waiting to see what happens and if I am going to here for the weekend."
Tiger Woods, even for first day, shot 71 on second day and reached 1-under for two days and will be around for the weekend.
Matt Kuchar, also first round co-leader, finished with 71 and was now 7-under for 36 holes alongside Jimmy Walker (69-68) and Sergio Garcia (68-69). They were Tied-8th.
Phil Mickelson (79-73) and Rickie Fowler (74-71) were sure to miss the cut, while Jordan Spieth (75) and Justin Thomas (73) were yet to start second round