Jersey City - It's been two long years since Anirban
Lahiri's agonising miss of a short putt on Sunday helped the United States to
yet another Presidents Cup victory.
The Indian golfer is hoping to make amends when the underdog
International team has another go at the mighty Americans this week at Liberty
National Golf Club in the 12th edition of the biennial Match Play contest.
"I felt like I let the team down, and I feel like I
need to go back out there and contribute to the winning cause," Lahiri
said after getting the call from International captain Nick Price.
Lahiri had a birdie putt from within four feet to halve his
singles match against Chris Kirk at Incheon two years ago - but it lipped out
to give Kirk a crucial win in the United States' 15.5-14.5 triumph.
Price believes that kind of experience only makes a player
stronger, and he had no hesitation in making the 68th-ranked Lahiri one of his
two captain's picks.
"You've got to learn to lose before you really
appreciate how to win," Price said.
A two-time winner on the European Tour, Lahiri was hampered
by injury for much of 2016, but opened this season with a tie for third at the
CIMB Classic and posted his best US tour finish to date with a share of second
at the Memorial.
A top-10 finish at the BMW Championship this month was
another sign that Lahiri could be a valuable contributor on a team that isn't
intimidated by the depth of talent on a US squad on which all 12 players are
ranked in the top 30.
"These guys are fired up," Price said of his
players. "They are really motivated and as you know, when you have a
motivated team and you've got a lot of team spirit in there and good morale,
the sky's the limit."
Although they've claimed just one victory and one draw in 11
prior editions, Price insisted there was progress in Incheon, where four of the
five sessions finished with the US up by just one point.
One key to springing a surprise, Lahiri said, would be to
get off to a faster start. The Internationals trailed 4-1 after the opening day
last time around.
"I think we've generally fought back quite well, but
the thing is, you don't want to get behind the eight-ball especially when
you're playing in their backyard," Lahiri said.
He's aiming to be in final-round form from the first tee on
"I feel like in the last two years, I've grown as a
player," Lahiri said. "I've definitely learned a lot, after having
moved here, played here. I feel like I'm ready to go back out there and make a
positive difference to the team."