Lahiri on fire in second round, shoots 61 to move to top
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White Sulphur Spring (US), July 6 (PTI) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri fired his best ever round on the PGA tour -- a stunning bogey free 9-under 61 -- and rocketed to the top of the leaderboard after his second round at the Greenbrier Classic here today.
Lahiri, who has not had a bogey in 36 holes, had nine birdies on the second day. Regularly holding 15-20 foot birdies for the first time this season, Lahiri could do little wrong after starting the day on 10th.
He started the second round with 3 birdies on the trot and closed the day with back-to-back birdies on eighth and ninth, his last two holes of the day.
After weeks of blues on the putting green, things finally came together for Lahiri.
At 12-under for 36 holes he was in lead, as many of the players were still out in the course, including overnight leader Webb Simpson, who shot 61 on the first day.
Lahiri's first round 67 put him at tied 24th but now at 12-under, he could be in sight of his maiden PGA tour title after being on the Tour for over three years.
Lahiri continued his excellent return to form after two good finishes in the last two weeks -- at tied 9th and tied 13th. He was on fire in the second round after a first round 3-under 67.
Lahiri had four birdies in the first five holes to move to 7-under and was tied 2nd at one stage.
The 31-year-old Indian has been slowly coming into form, which fetched him two top-10 and some other good results at the start of the wrap-around season last October.
On Thursday in first round, he opened with a birdie and then had 10 pars before finding further birdies on 12th and 18th.
In the second round he had three in a row to start the day with birdies from 15 feet, 12 feet and 19 feet. He parred the 13th, his fourth hole of the second day, and then again holed 14-footer for his fourth birdie.
On back nine he had five more birdies.
On Thursday, despite a fine start, Lahiri was lying tied 24th as Webb Simpson, who shot 9-under 61, led by a shot over Whee Kim.
It was Simpson's best career score and it came after waiting out a two-hour weather delay with six holes left in his round. He came up short in his bid to shoot the eighth sub-60 round on the PGA TOUR. He needed birdies on the par-5 17th and the par-3 18th for a 59 but found only pars on both.
Kim had six birdies and two bogeys, which were back-to-back, between the second and ninth and on back nine he had four more birdies for a total of 10 birdies and two bogeys in his 62. The 26-year-old Kim has never won on the PGA TOUR.
Teenager Joaquin Niemann of Chile was another stroke back at 7-under 63. Kelly Kraft carded 64 while Jason Kokrak, Keegan Bradley and JJ Henry were at 65.
Simpson, whose four-shot victory at THE PLAYERS Championship in May was his first win in more than four years, finished third here in 2014 and lost a one-stroke lead on the back nine in the final round in 2011 and 2012.
Defending champion Xander Schauffele was among a large group at 4-under 66, which includes Phil Mickelson, playing in his first tournament since the U.S. Open.
Bubba Watson, starting on the back nine, hurt his wrist on a bunker shot on No. 11 and finished the round and shot 2-under 68