March 01, 2021

Lahiri finishes T-39 as Grace grabs a win for his father in Puerto Rico

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico, March 1

Anirban Lahiri carded his fourth straight under par round but it was once again in the 70s, as he closed the week at the Puerto Rico Open with a 2-under 70. That gave him a total of 6-under 282 and a tied-39th place, a result that was far from satisfactory for Indian playing his seventh season on the PGA Tour.

Lahiri, starting from the 10th, dropped bogeys on 13th and 16th, but had back-to-back birdies on 17th and 18th.  The birdie on 18th made up for the bogey on the third day at the same hole. On the second nine had gains on second and fifth and parred the rest.

“It was not the kind of a week I was looking for, but I do take some positives and hopefully the next start will go off better,” said Lahiri.

South African Branden Grace stayed focussed despite the amazing scenery at the Grand Reserve Country Club and closed with a bogey free 6-under 66 in the wind. Grace’s eagle-birdie finish gave him a 19-under 269 total and his second PGA Tour victory, his first since the 2016 RBC Heritage.

Grace was tied for the lead at 18 under when he teed off from the par-5 18th. He reached a front bunker in two and then a super shot saw him come to five feet for a birdie finish as he beat Jhonattan Vegas by a shot.

Vegas finished strongly with 65 for second while local star Rafael Campos shot 70 and tied for third with Grayson Murray, three shots back.

It was an emotional win for Grace, 32, who lost his father, Peter, last month in South Africa due to Covid-19 complications.

The win also puts Grace back in the picture for another Presidents Cup berth and that would be a perfect reward as he missed making it last time.

Grace’s win also gets him into the 2021 Players Championship, the PGA Championship, select invitational events such as the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions, and makes him exempt through 2022-23.

The action from PGA Tour will continue with the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, Day 3, which will be LIVE on EUROSPORT and EUROSPORT HD from 1:00 am (IST) onwards on Sunday, 7th March 2021.


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