India’s Anirban Lahiri shot a sensational bogey-free nine-under 61 to get to 12-under 128 and stayed on top of the leaderboard at the Greenbrier Classic till Kelly Kraft overtook him by one shot.
Lahiri, who turned 31 a week ago, has been steadily showing the kind of form that made him the player to watch out for when he first came to the PGA Tour in 2015. In the time since, he has been close but could not get his first win.
Only Players Champion, Webb Simpson, who shot 61 on the first day and 67 on the second, has won a Tour title among the top half a dozen at the event, which is called ‘A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier’.
Starting from the 10th, Lahiri birdied his first three holes and added a fourth on 14th to be 4-under through six holes.
He also said he was a bit frustrated when he did not get any more for the next five holes. But then he again went on a spree with a hat-trick of birdies from second to fourth and two more on eighth and ninth. The eighth has been one of the toughest holes this week.
Lahiri said, “It was a perfect day to go out there and play. The greens were pure. We played in the afternoon yesterday, and they were starting to get a little bumpy. Obviously the rain and just being out early I was able to take advantage of the conditions.”
Kraft shot a 7-under 63 in the second round to take a one-stroke edge over first-round Webb Simpson and Lahiri. Kraft posted his career-best round of 63 at the Old White TPC and was 13-under 127. He is leading a PGA TOUR event after 36 holes for the first time.
Lahiri has yet to make a bogey in his first trip to The Greenbrier resort. He found just eight of 14 fairways but reached all 18 greens in regulation on Friday. Four of his nine birdies were putts of 18 feet or longer.
Aditi moves up
Aditi Ashok carded seven birdies against two bogeys for a 5-under 67 that moved her to tied 22nd from tied 54th at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic on Saturday. Aditi was 8-under and eight shots behind the leader, Sei Young Kim. The Korean had six birdies in her first seven holes en route to a 7-under, 65 to take lead.
Kim was 16-under through 36 holes with 18 birdies and led by four shots over Yu Liu. Aditi, starting from the 10th, had a bogey on 11th, but quickly recovered with birdies on 13th and 14th. She added one more on 18th but dropped a shot on 17th. On her second nine, she birdied third and ended the day with three in a row from seventh to ninth.