Anirban Lahiri is entering his seventh PGA Championship with the comfort of a no-bogey final round at LIV Golf Tulsa where his team narrowly missed out on a podium finish at Cedar Creek.
India’s lone face in the high-pressure parallel league, Lahiri opens his campaign in the second Main Event of the year alongside Korea’s Si Woo Kim and Germany’s Stephen Jaeger through the first two rounds at Oak Hill.
Before 105p PGA Championship, Lahiri tweeted: “Another solid Sunday with no bogeys and great preparation for the PGA Championship. Now is an important time.”
As many as 99 of the world’s top 100 players compete in the PGA Championship, including LIV Golf stars Phil Mickelson, two-time winner, Tulsa winner Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Patrick Reed, Bryson DeChambeau and Cameron Smith.
The much-discussed question of how regular 54-hole players last for 72 holes was well settled by Mickelson and Koepka, who finished second to Jon Rahm at the Augusta National.
Seventeen members of LIV Golf are on the course in Rochester, New York (Paul Casey’s England, who retired late), and Lahiri made the list after finishing second at the Asian Tour’s International Series Vietnam event in mid-April.
This was the calling Lahiri had been waiting for, who will be appearing at the Asian Games in China later this year. Since LIV Golf offered no official ranking points, it needed a strong finish in Vietnam to earn valuable world ranking points.
Lahiri’s eventual second place at Cam Ranh guaranteed him enough points to open the door to the PGA Championship, where he is tied for fifth place, India’s best at the 2015 Major.
In total, the 35-year-old has made 17 major appearances so far, having appeared at the Masters in 2015 and 2016, three times at the Open (2012, 2015, 2016) and twice at the PGA Championships. rounds of the US Open in three starts (2015, 2016 and 2019).
Meanwhile, Joohyung Kim is prepared for a tough test when he makes his third appearance at the PGA Championship at the Oak Hill Country Club this week.
The 20-year-old, already a two-time tour winner, is one of the strong Asian contingents assembled in Rochester for the tournament that crowned the region’s first major men’s champion at Korea’s YE Yang in 2009 at Hazeltine.
Another Korean, Sungjae Im, who missed last year due to Covid, will perform in good shape after his home victory on the Korean PGA Tour last week.
Other assistants from Asia looking to impress on Oak Hill’s challenging par-70 layout include Si Woo Kim, KH Lee and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, winner of the 2021 Masters, the PGA Tour said.
“It’s a tough course, but it rewards good golf. I can’t wait,” Kim said on Wednesday.
Kim missed the cut at the 2020 and last year’s PGA Championships, but he was 23 r&dat the US Open and T47 at The Open Championship last year.
He finished 16th last monthp in his Masters tournament debut.
“This is my third. It’s nice to have it because it’s the biggest championship I’ve played in so far,” said Kim, who won the Shriners Children’s Open and three other top 10 finishes this season.
With Justin Thomas defending his title this week against world number one Rahm, number two Scottie Scheffler and number three Rory McIlroy, Kim knows he’s dealing not only with a challenging course, but with a powerful course as well.
“It’s hard for everyone. I think it rewards good golf shots, and I think that’s a great thing. You can’t screw it up here.
“You really have to control the ball very well, hit a lot of fairways; you need to hit a lot of greens.
“At the same time, you have to be really mentally tough. It’s an important championship. I think this course definitely shows why this is an important championship,” said the world’s 19th player.
Oak Hill hosts its seventh major championship overall and first since the 2013 PGA Championship.
Previously, three PGA Championships (1980/Jack Nicklaus, 2003/Shaun Micheel and 2013/Jason Dufner) and three US Opens (1956/Cary Middlecoff, 1968/Lee Trevino, 1989/Curtis Strange) were held here.