Anirban Lahiri has plenty to prove after Nick Price offered him a chance at redemption, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
The Internationals side to compete in the 12th edition of the Presidents Cup is now final, but it is the selection of the 12th player on the team that raises concern.
Firstly, Emiliano Grillo was an obvious pick after he finished 11th on the qualifying list. He will be a welcome addition and help rookie Venezuelan Jhonattan Vegas settle into things.
The 12th spot was wide open.
The calls for Hideto Tanihara were loud and clear. He’s Japanese, so he would be a great ally for Hideki Matsuyama and showed that he knows how to handle himself in match play – he beat Jordan Spieth, Paul Casey and Ross Fisher at the WGC- Dell Technologies Match Play, and lost in the semis by one hole to Dustin Johnson. Oh, and he was 12th on the points list.
In the end, no one player on the list beyond Grillo did anything of significance in the run-in to force Price’s hand, but one thing’s for sure, Lahiri didn’t.
His current form is awful – he has missed three of his last six cuts. His best finish in that time is T28. Hardly inspiring.
By all accounts, he is a great guy and will fit into the team well, but being nice doesn’t win matches. The Americans have a 9-1-1 record going into Liberty National, Price needs players on his teams that get him points.
In any event, the decision has been made and Lahiri gets his chance to compete in his second Presidents Cup.
His first one was less than memorable – for any good reasons at least. He lost 5&4 with Thongchai Jaidee to Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker in the opening match. He then sat out the next two matches before teaming up with Adam Scott to lose 3&2 to Phil Mickelson, himself a captain’s pick this year, and Zach Johnson.
In the singles, the score was 12-all after Aussie Steven Bowditch beat Walker, with Lahiri left a tiddler to earn a half against Chris Kirk …
— Presidents Cup (@PresidentsCup) September 7, 2017
He fluffed his lines. Badly. Kirk won the match, took the point and the USA won by, you guessed it, one point.
Lahiri carries thoughts of retribution into this year’s event. What he doesn’t carry is form, which makes his quest that much harder.