Oakmont (Pennsylvania), June 15 (IANS) An inconsistent Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri faces a big test at the US Open when he tees of in the year’s second Major at the Oakmont Country Club here on Thursday.
The world No.57 has played 16 tournaments in the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour in the United States, with only two top-25 finishes — tied 21st at the CIMB Classic and tied sixth at the Dean $ Deluca Invitational.
In many tournaments, he hasn’t completed all the four rounds perfectly. He also missed the cuts in three tournaments.
And as he gears up to compete in his eighth Major, he will look to play the rounds perfectly and the course will require the best of skills to do it.
The US Open is the only Major where Lahiri has not made the cut so far. He will be eager to redeem himself after last year’s disappointment when he missed out on debut.
The tenacious Indian also featured in the Masters tournament in April where he finished tied 42nd.
In the first two rounds, he will tee off alongside world No.67 Scott Piercy of the United States and No.64 Jamie Donaldson of Wales.
Veteran Jeev Milkha Singh will be the other Indian in the fray and the 44-year-old will play alongside Billy Hurley of the US and J.J. Henry.
Playing in his first Major since 2012, Jeev is prepared for the tough challenge at the U.S. Open.
Meanwhile, the top three ranked golfers in the world — Australian Jason Day, Jordan Spieth of the US and Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy — will be hot favourites.
Spieth, 23, will start his title defence playing alongside compatriots — last year’s British Open winner Zach Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau.
Spieth’s last five Major starts — two wins, two seconds and a top-five finish — show his ability to contest in all types of courses.
“I feel that we’ve geared everything up to peak at a Major,” Spieth told PGATour.com. “And because I feel that way, it makes me as confident as I can be.”
The last Major he played left him with the bitter taste of disappointment. In control of the Masters for the first 63 holes two months ago, Spieth watched it unravel on a back-nine that included a quadruple-bogey at the par-3 12th. It cost him a chance to successfully defend his title at Augusta National.
“If you’re coming off kind of a heartbreaking loss, getting back into contention can be fearful, and you’ve just got to push through the fear,” Spieth said. “When I say the ‘fear,’ the potential for bad memories to pop up, right? I feel like we got through that .
“I think I’ll be able to draw on a lot of pretty special major experiences if I can’t bring it off the Colonial experience itself.”
McIlroy will play alongwith Masters champion Danny Willett of England and world No.5 Rickie Fowler of the US.
“I’m an aggressive player as well, so there’s just going to be times where I’m going to have to rein it back a little bit. It’s a great test of golf. Every shot you hit, you’re under pressure to hit a great shot because you can’t really miss it,” McIlroy was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“You have to get the ball in play. You really need to put the ball on the fairway, and that’s a huge premium.”