Eager to be back on the course after a month-long break, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will compete in next week’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Jackson, hoping to present a stronger and faster version of himself.
Having recovered from a tough season, and despite losing valuable time, tournaments and physical strength after contracting the COVID-19 infection, Lahiri did exceedingly to qualify for the Olympics.
He also managed a punishing schedule and kept his PGA Tour card even as many top stars lost their full playing rights.
Lahiri recognises that the way he played towards the end of the season and even got into the Play-offs after a long time, augured well for the coming year.
“I knew I was getting into my rhythm. So I want to continue with the same mindset. So, the key is to start this season in the same vein, albeit fresher, stronger, faster and I will be able to manage my schedule better and not have to wait till the last minute,” he said.
Talking about the off-season, Lahiri said it was mostly spent rejuvenating in the company of his family.
“It has been a good month; a much-needed month which started off by taking some time off with the family to vacation. That was a first after a couple of years. It was probably what I needed after the hectic end to the schedule.
“Physically I found myself quite drained and I think I played like seven out of nine weeks to finish the year. That included travel to Japan and back and the play offs,” said Lahiri.
“…the Olympics; managing the travel and the fatigue and the energy levels. Frankly, there was a lot on my plate and I am quite pleased with the way I handled the pressure with the COVID situation.
“I am glad I was able to do that and I had to dig deep. I am proud of how I managed that.”
Lahiri, who last won in 2015 at the Hero Indian Open and then made his move to the PGA Tour by the end of that year, is still looking for his first win on the PGA Tour.
“I was totally spent every which way and all this happened within 3-4 months of having COVID. The last two and a half weeks or so I have gotten back in the gym; have started working out a little bit more trying to work on endurance as much as possible.
“At the same time, I am trying to keep an eye on all my parameters…I am recovering my strength and have been in touch with my coach Vijay Divecha as well and just trying to get back into the same rhythm that I had found towards the end of the season last year.”
The Indian ace, who has now spent more than seven seasons on the PGA Tour, the toughest professional golf Tour in the world, is now all set to start the 2021-22 season next week.
“I want to hit the ground running and check some things off my list,” added Lahiri.