Written by
Joy Chakravarty
Sep 23 2023
Lahiri Chicago R2

SUGAR GROVE, Ill. ­– Rock-solid Anirban Lahiri added a second successive five-under 66 to reach 10-under total to get closer to a first LIV Golf title, but he will have to make up for a three-shot deficit on Sunday of LIV Golf Chicago following a stunning eight-under par round by leader Sebastian Munoz.

The Crushers GC star has been a picture of consistency lately. He has had three second-place finishes since joining LIV Golf, including at Bedminster, the Tour’s previous stop, and in Adelaide this year.

Captain Bryson DeChambeau chipped in with a two-under par score that was equally impressive as he was struggling at three-over after his first nine holes. He then turned it around in spectacular fashion, hitting laser-guided approach shots over his last nine holes in which he made five birdies.

However, with both Paul Casey (72) and Charles Howell III (73) having an off day, Crushers slipped to tied third place in the team standings at 18-under. They are now four behind joint leaders Torque and Fireballs going into Sunday’s final round. Winners of the inaugural tournament in Mayakoba, Crushers have finished second in the last two LIV events in Greenbrier and Bedminster.

Despite finishing on one-over, Casey made an important contribution to the team’s cause with two birdies in his last two holes.

Overnight joint leader Lahiri got off to a superb start when he chipped in for an eagle on his opening hole, the par-5 second. He did not drop a shot after that and added three more birdies.

“I don’t know if I can call it a hot stretch because generally, that would involve some wins. I’ve had a few too many seconds, so hopefully, at the end of the day tomorrow, I can tell you if it’s a hot streak,” said the 36-year-old Indian, who was one of only three players with bogey-free rounds at Rich Harvest Farms on Saturday (Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson being the other two).

“It was a pretty solid round of golf. Got off to a nice start when I chipped in for eagle on the second, which was my first hole. Got out of position, then made a nice birdie on the fourth. So yeah, it was a quick start, but then I really didn’t give myself that many close looks at birdie… lots of 15-, 20-footers that I just didn’t make any.

“It was just one of those rounds where I shot a good score, but it could have been so much better.”

After a terrible start that included missing a short par putt on his opening hole, DeChambeau seemed to get back into his Greenbrier zone, where he needed just 119 shots over the weekend that included a historic 58, LIV Golf’s first sub-60 round. The 69 took him to five-under par total and in tied 14th place.

The Captain also smashed a 381.2-yard drive in one of the two counting holes – the longest of the tournament so far by a whopping 21 yards.

Crushers are currently fourth in the team standings with 146 points, just three ahead of the RangeGoats. They are aiming to cement their place in the top-four ahead of the Team Championship in Miami. Lahiri is 15th in the individual points list, while DeChambeau is in seventh place.