Lahiri registers best WGC finish with Tied-6th; Thomas wins title
Akron (US), Aug 6: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri produced his best-ever finish at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational as he signed off tied sixth after carding a two-under 68 in the final round here.
Playing his first WGC event since the 2016 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Lahiri registered his first ever Top-10 in a WGC event and it put him in the right frame for next week’s PGA Championships, where he was T-5th in 2015.
Other Indian in fray, Shubhankar Sharma shot his best round of the week at even par 70 and finished 69th at 13-over.
Justin Thomas never let anyone closer than two shots and turned in a one-under 69 to win his third PGA TOUR title this season as the final WGC at Firestone lacked drama yesterday.
Thomas thus becomes the fifth and youngest player to win a FedExCup, major championship and World Golf Championships.
Tiger Woods, an eight-time winner at Firestone, tried to go out with a bang but shot 73 to finish 15 shots behind.
Rory McIlroy, playing in the final group with Thomas, said he was tired of finishing second this year. This time he was sixth. Kyle Stanley tried to make a move, only to stumble with bogeys and was second.
Dustin Johnson (64) and Thorbjorn Olesen (64) finished third with great final rounds, while Brooks Koepka (67) was fifth.
Lahiri was Tied-sixth alongside Aaron Wise (67), Patrick Cantalay (68) and Rory McIlroy (73) at 8-under 272.
Lahiri, who moves up to 82nd on FedEx Cup standings with this finish, will now head to the PGA Championship with good momentum.
“It wasn’t easy, as the wind was pumping on the front nine,” said Lahiri. “I was pretty happy as I hit solid, but did not putt well the whole week. I could have done more damage and should have done a little better.”
“I am happy with my game. It is in good shape. And there is no undue pressure of a Major. I have played a bunch of them and know what to do. I will approach it pretty much the same way I did this week, and not as a regular event,” he added.
Lahiri hit 12 of 18 greens in regulation during his final round finishing at eight under for the week.
His first birdie was on Par-5 second, which was 526-yards long. He reached the green in three with a great third shot and sank the birdie putt from less than a foot.
On the Par-4 sixth, he had a 272-yard drive and followed that up with a second shot into the rough. He chipped to six feet but missed the par putt to take a bogey.
After a drive to the right side of the fairway on the 494-yard par-4 ninth hole, Lahiri had a 146-yard approach shot, setting himself up for the birdie. Then came the par-4 10th, where Lahiri hit his approach from 106 yards to nine feet for a birdie, which he holed.
On the par-4 13th he left himself some with his second shot and got to 15 feet for par, but missed it. He did get his approach perfect on 17th and holed a four footer for birdie and a 68.
Sharma had two bogeys on front nine and then three birdies against one more bogey on back nine for his 70. He also moved to Bellerive for the PGA Championships coming week.
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