La Quinta (US), Jan 19 (PTI) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri made a smart comeback on the second day, cruising to a seven-under 65 to rise from overnight 70th to Tied-21st at the halfway mark of the Desert Classic here.Also Read - US Eases Travel Restrictions on India Amid Dip in COVID Cases, Lowers Advisory to Level 3 | Here's What it Means
Lahiri, who shot 70 on the PGA West’s Nicklaus Tournament Course on the first day, is now nine-under for 36 holes at the event, which is played like a Pro-Am. Also Read - The Penchant Endorsement of The Crisis of India by International Media
Phil Mickelson birdied four of his last five holes Friday to take a two-stroke lead into the weekend in his first event of the year. Also Read - Amid COVID Surge, US to Restrict Travel From India Starting May 4
After shooting a career-low 12-under 60 at La Quinta Country Club, the 48-year-old Mickelson had a 68 on Nicklaus Tournament Course to get to 16-under.
Curtis Luck was second after a 66 on the Nicklaus layout. The 22-year-old Australian rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 eighth with a closing birdie on the par-4 ninth.
Lahiri, who missed a lot of makeable putts on the first day at the Stadium Course, had five birdies on the front nine.
He started with a birdie on second and then dropped a shot on third. He got back to under par with a birdie on fourth and then had three in a row from seventh to ninth.
He birdied 13th to get to five-under and closed birdie-birdie on 17-18 to card 65.
“It felt nice to finally get a good score under my belt. I did feel the first round ought to have been lot lower, and hopefully I can keep this momentum going,” said Lahiri.
Mickelson, the tournament winner in 2002 and 2004, will play the final two rounds on PGA West’s Stadium Course.
Adam Hadwin and Steve Marino were 13 under, and defending champion Jon Rahm was another stroke back.
Hadwin had a 66 at La Quinta, where the Canadian shot 59 two years ago.
Marino had a hole-in-one on the seventh hole at La Quinta in a 65.
Defending FedExCup champion Justin Rose was tied for 28th at eight-under after a 68 on the Nicklaus layout.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.