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Lahiri tied 19th, 56-year-old Vijay bids to become oldest PGA winner

Press Trust of India  |  Palm Beach (USA) 

India's Anirban Lahiri hung in tenaciously for a one-over 72 but slipped to tied 19th at the Honda Classic as Vijay Singh, at 56, launched a bid to become the oldest PGA Tour winner.

After rounds of 67 and 70 on first two days, Lahiri was two-under for three days in what has been a low-scoring week.

Rookie Wyndham Clark (67), at seven-under, held a one-shot lead over Fiji's Vijay (65) who is trying to become the oldest ever winner on the Tour. Vijay was tied with Korean Kyoung-Hoon Lee (68) and Keith Mitchell (70). Rickie Fowler, who has one win this season already, was fifth at five-under.

Lahiri did manage a majority of the fairways, hitting 10 of the 14, but he did not find as many greens as the first two days. He reached only seven greens in regulation out of 18.

Yet, on the Par-4 395-yard fourth hole, he found a fairway bunker and still hit his second shot close enough for a birdie.

On the very next hole, he missed a rare putt inside 10 feet this one was nine feet for par and gave away a bogey. On the 12th he again missed par from 10 feet and the rest of the day he had pars and mostly from inside five to six feet. Two holes later on 15th, Lahiri missed an eight-footer for birdie.

Saturday's 65 put Vijay just 18 holes away from history. If Vijay wins, he will break Sam Snead's record of winning at 52 years, 10 months, 8 days at the 1965 Greater Greensboro Open. Just six other players have won PGA TOUR events in their 50s, the most recent being Davis Love III, who was 51 when he won the Wyndham Championship in 2015.

Vijay has not won on PGA Tour since 2008, though he does have four on PGA TOUR Champions, including three in 2018.

Snead also holds the record of 82 PGA Tour wins, which Tiger Woods, with 80, is chasing.

Just three years ago, Vijay was tied 6th at The Honda Classic and he was runner-up at the 2016 Quicken Loans National, finishing with a final-round 65. That was also his last Top-10 finish on Tour. In the time since putting has been his problem, but this week he has overcome that.

Clark has come through the ranks. From struggling for a card on Web.com, he won on it and then this year he made the PGA Tour by finishing 16th in the Web.com Order of Merit.

Now he finds himself on the threshold of a maiden win, after coming on the strength of a Top-10 finish at Puerto Rico last week.

He wants to win it to honour his mother, who helped him take up golf at age six, around the time Vijay won the second of his two Majors. Clark's mother passed away in 2013.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 03 2019. 15:15 IST
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