Anirban Lahiri carded a three-under 69 on the final day, his third round in the 60s this week, to finish Tied 42 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic golf tournament. Lahiri’s rounds of 69, 68, 72 and 69 gave him a four-day aggregate of 10-under 278. The tournament produced many low scores but none more notable than the ultimate winner, Nate Lashley, who got in as the last alternate and won from start to finish. In his final round, Lahiri hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 of 18 greens in regulation. His first birdie came on the 393-yard par-4 third hole, where he reached the green in two and sunk a 16-foot putt for birdie. He added a second birdie on Par-3 fifth, but gave back one shot on the eighth as he turned in one-under. On the back nine, he bogeyed 12th and was back to even par for the day.
He birdied Par-5 14th hole and again had a fine tee shot on Par-3 15th for another birdie. A 303 yard drive on the 577-yard par-5 17th saw Lahiri chip his third shot to seven feet from where he rolled in his birdie to finish at three-under 69. Lashley completed a brilliant wire-to-wire victory as he closed with a two-under 70 to finish at 25-under 263 and won by six shots, the margin with which he started the final day. The 36-year-old Lashley’s parents and girlfriend were killed in a plane crash 15 years ago. He worked in real estate after graduating from the University of Arizona, temporarily quit playing professional golf before resuming on minor tours.
Monday qualifier Doc Redman shot a 67 to finish second, while Rory Sabbatini (68) and Wes Roach (68) were another stroke back. Lashley got into PGA TOUR’s first event in Detroit as an alternate Wednesday. He opened with a career-low 63 in the first round to take the lead, which he held for the week. “Without my parents, I wouldn’t have started playing golf when I was little,” said Lashley, who began playing when he was 8. “They did everything to help me have a career.”
His elder sister and his girlfriend arrived with close friends on a charter to see him win in Detroit. In 2004, Lashley’s parents — Rod and Char — and girlfriend Leslie Hofmeister, were missing for three days before their bodies and the wreckage were found near the 13,780-foot Gannett Peak in Wyoming. Lashley’s second coming to golf came on PGA TOUR Latinoamerica circuit in 2015 and from there he moved up to what is now called the Korn Ferry Tour two years later.
He made his PGA TOUR debut last season in his mid-30s, but he had to end his year after 17 events because of a knee injury. He tied for eighth in February in the Puerto Rico Open for his only top-10 finish previously on TOUR.