JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (NS) – Anirban Lahiri had an afternoon to forget as he and his International team mates were left humbled by a rampaging United States who grabbed a commanding 8-2 lead on Friday in the Presidents Cup.
Lahiri and partner South African Charl Schwartzel absorbed the worst beating as Presidents Cup rookies Charley Hoffman and Kevin Chappell administered a 6&5 thrashing to collect the first U.S. point of the day.
Hoffman and Chappell, who sat out Thursday’s opening foursomes, came out flying, 3-up after four holes.
The Internationals, meanwhile, stumbled out of the starting blocks with India’s Lahiri disqualified from playing the third hole after taking a practice shot out of the bunker at the second.
Players are allowed to practice putting after the holes have been determined but cannot practice shots from anywhere else on the course.
“I think it was just an oversight on his part,” said International captain Nick Price. “He’s obviously trying to prove to all of us that his pick was worth it and it’s put a lot of pressure on him.”
Price may have been sympathetic but he had no time to ease Lahiri, one of his captain’s picks, out of his 0-4-0 funk and benched him for Saturday’s foursomes.
“I think today he showed that he was very tight out there,” said Price.
”Just trying to get him to loosen up and play golf and not be so worried about the fact that he’s got to prove something to us.
”He doesn’t have to do that. We chose him. The captains and I and a lot of the team members chose him.
”But it’s hard.
”He really wants to do well and you can see it in his attitude and the strain in his face.
“He’s having a tough time at the moment.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury