India’s Anirban Lahiri returns to PGA TOUR action at this week’s star-studded Genesis Open with a spring in his step and a wide smile on his face following the arrival of his first child.
Lahiri and his wife Ipsa announced via social media on Tuesday the birth of daughter Tisyha earlier this month which attracted numerous well-wishes and greetings from his fans.
The 31-year-old featured at the Sony Open in Hawaii (T43) and Desert Classic (MC) in January before embarking on a month-long break to prepare for the new addition to his family.
Lahiri has teed up twice previously at the Genesis Open at Riviera Country Club, finishing T64 and T26 in 2017 and 2018. He will play the opening two rounds alongside Americans Luke List and Sam Saunders, and they are a group ahead of Presidents Cup International Team captain Ernie Els.
Featuring in his fourth season on the PGA TOUR, Lahiri has made it a top priority in 2019 to play in a third successive Presidents Cup but he has plenty of work ahead as he currently ranks a lowly 158th on the International Team standings.
The biennial Presidents Cup, which pits the United States Team against the International Team, will be staged at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Australia from December 9-15, 2019. Tiger Woods will captain the American team.
Lahiri finished 99th in last season’s FedExCup standings following four top-10 finishes. He produced a T10 outing at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in Mexico last fall, followed by another T10 finish with partner Gaganjeet Bhullar at the ISPS HANDA Melbourne World Cup of Golf in November.
He made his Presidents Cup debut for the International Team in the narrow 15.5 – 14.5 loss to the U.S. Team in South Korea. When Captain Els launched the new International Team logo which will now incorporate the national flag of each respective team members in November, Lahiri was pumped.
“You do represent your country even though you're an International first that week, and I think it's (the new logo) also going to bring the people of these countries together. It’s going to motivate me even more if that’s even possible come to the next Presidents Cup. I think the people in India are going to see the Indian flag and gravitate towards it,” he said.
“People from Mexico, Australia and Canada, even though they know they're Internationals when they see the flag, you know, there's a different kind of passion that you attach to it and I think that's going to be added to what's already there.”
First and foremost on his mind now is to get his game back into high gear starting at the Genesis Open which features leading stars including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth.