India golfer Anirban Lahiri, who finished runner-up in the Players Championship on Monday, said it has finally begun to sink in.
“It’s definitely beginning to sink in a little bit. I keep thinking what could have been. Obviously it’s a great result, great finish, but I dearly wanted to win. And I do look back and think of what could have been.
“At the same time I’m very happy with the way I played and a lot of positives to take forward. It’s been great talking to family and friends back home. Makes me feel fantastic. It’s not just about appreciation; I see the difference, I hear the difference in the voice of some of the people I speak with and that’s very special,” Lahiri said on Wednesday during a virtual news conference facilitated by the PGA Tour.
The 34-year-old said the turnaround came because of the hard work he had put in over the last few weeks.
“It came because I found the missing link. I’ve been working hard in pretty much all departments of my game. The mental make-up as well as my processes started to fall in place over the last few weeks.
“I just had my iron play that was kind of damaging me, and definitely there was a big uptick. Obviously there’s a lot of work still to be done,” he said.
The world No. 89 said meditation and bringing in a mental trainer have helped him at the Players, held in Florida.
“Definitely. Whether your practices or your meditation or the other mental training that I do — and I do a lot of mental training — everything helped.
“I have a mental trainer in Bangalore. I’ve been working with him for almost a year-and-a-half. These things definitely add up. You don’t really know if it’s adding up until you’re in a pressure situation like day before yesterday (Monday) or Sunday. So I was very pleased with how I responded and carried myself.”
Lahiri, who is taking a week’s break to recover, said he would be returning to action at the Texas Open in San Antonio (March 31 to April 2).
“That’s the week before Augusta, so I suppose that will be my last opportunity to make it to the Masters.”
Lahiri revealed that he would be on stand-by after the Wells Fargo Championship (first week of May) as he and (wife) Ipsa get ready to welcome their second child.
He was also pleasantly surprised by former India captain Sachin Tendulkar’s congratulatory tweet. “It’s a nice feeling,” he said.
Lahiri was also concerned about his coach and father-figure Vijay Divecha’s health. “What a lot of people don’t know is that last month he had a quadruple bypass surgery. Not stressful, but I’ve been very concerned.
“Thankfully, he’s recovering well. He sent me a message after Thursday when I shot five-under that ‘you have to keep it going for me'. So it was good. I’m happy.”