Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri plays his final event of the regular season of the 2018-’19 PGA Tour when he tees up at the Wyndham Championship Greensboro on Thursday.
It is the final event for players to collect points to advance to the FedExCup play-offs. But Lahiri, who is languishing way down in the 178th place, will need to finish second or better to get into next week’s play-offs which begin with the Northern Trust event.
Lahiri, who has had a rather lean season, has managed only one top-10 this season at the Mayakoba Golf Classic late last year. His other top results have been t-22 at Zurich Classic and t-30 at Valspar.
This week, Lahiri tees off with Michael Thompson and Patrick Rogers at 8.40 am from the tenth tee. Missing from the Wyndham field will be former champion Arjun Atwal, who has lost his card, and has not got into the field this week.
Lahiri, who has not won a title since his 2015 Hero Indian Open, has plans to play the KornFerry final series of three events to try and get back his PGA Tour card for 2019-20 season.
He will need to finish in top-25 of the total prize money from those three events to get the Tour card. After two weeks of strong fields at The Open Championship and the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational, the field is understandably weaker.
Yet the likes of Jordan Spieth, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, Billy Horschel, Paul Casey, Cam Smith, Matthew Wolff, Lucas Bjerregaard, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and defending champ Brandt Snedeker will be teeing off in North Carolina at the Sedgefield CC.
The Sedgefield features eight-par 4s measuring between 400 and 450 yards and a pair of par 5s reachable by the entire field and they can offer eagle chances.
After rookie Matthew Wolff got his breakthrough at 3M and then Collin Morikawa followed it with a victory at the Barracuda Championship, it now seems Viktor Hovland will look for his chance. Hovland has been playing well and hit a lot of fairways in his past rounds.
Diksha Dagar all set for British Open debut
Diksha Dagar will be the lone Indian in the fray at the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open, this year’s fifth and final Major, which begins Woburn on Thursday.
The Haryana golfer, who turns 19 in the second week of December, will be playing her second Major, after making a maiden appearance at the Evian Championships last week.
It was a tough Major debut for Dagar who missed the cut with rounds of 77-78.
“I think I played alright, but just did not score. Sometimes that happens in golf, but I enjoyed my maiden Major appearance,” said Dagar.
However, she is even more excited about the British Open. “This is the major all of us love to follow, so to be able to play in that is indeed a honour. Winning the Women’s South African Open was a big step forward and it has got me here,” said Diksha, who will once again have her father Col Naren Dagar on the bag as the caddie at the Woburn Golf Club.
“It has been raining and the course is soft. But it is a lovely course,” said the father-cum-caddie.
Dagar’s 2019 performances have ensured that she is currently ninth in the LET rankings and the top-25 are exempt into the British Open. Aditi Ashok did not make the field directly this season and therefore she did try the qualifiers earlier in the week but could not make it.
Last year, Aditi Ashok achieved her best result in a Major at Women’s British Open by finishing Tied-22nd. Two shots better would have seen her finish t-15 and earn a spot in the 2019 Open.
Woburn’s own Charley Hull continues her quest for her first Major title at her home course. Hull also played unofficial host when the championship was last played at Woburn in 2016 when she finished t-17.
She will play alongside major champions Hannah Green and Shanshan Feng, who has returned to form in the second half of the season. She picked up her first win in two years at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic in July and followed that with a runner-up finish at the Evian Championship. She has been in Top 10 last two years.