(Reuters) – A chance practice round with Tiger Woods is the kind of luck India’s Anirban Lahiri will be hoping to get some more of when he begins his campaign at the PGA Championship on Thursday.
Lahiri, who is able to play in the major at Southern Hills after his wife delivered their second child ahead of schedule on Monday, arrived for practice to find Woods on the first tee box on Wednesday.
“There were some confusion as to who was going and it was then just me and Tiger, and he asked me (to play together) and why would I ever say no to that invitation?” the 34-year-old told the PGA Tour.
“It was just random, it was serendipity.
“I actually haven’t played much golf with him, so to actually go out and play nine holes, kind of have a chill day was a lot of fun. He was super relaxed and very friendly.”
It allowed Lahiri to tap into the thoughts of the American who won his fourth PGA Championship title at Southern Hills in 2007.
“He obviously talked about the changes to Southern Hills since he was last here and it was good to get insights on how he sees it on some of the holes,” said Lahiri, who finished runners-up at the Players Championship in March.
After Woods wrapped up his nine holes, Lahiri was joined by Bryson DeChambeau for the back nine, though the big-hitting American subsequently withdrew from the tournament as he continues his recovery from a wrist surgery.
“He was swinging at 60% and still flying it 320 yards, it’s just incredible what he’s managed to do with speed and distance,” Lahiri said.
“I was joking with my caddie that we had a day where we kind of did it all. We show up and then play with Tiger and the back nine with Bryson.”
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)