JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Anirban Lahiri’s return to the Presidents Cup got off to a rocky start when, after pulling his first shot into the water, he was disqualified for one hole for taking an impermissible practice shot out of a bunker.
Lahiri was paired Friday with Charl Schwartzel in a fourball match against Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman. The Indian needed to hole out from a greenside bunker on No. 2 in order to halve the hole, but the shot caught in the fringe and failed to reach the green.
With the hole over and players walking to the next tee, Lahiri pulled his ball back into the bunker and hit another sand shot. That action turned out to be a violation of Rule 7-2, which states that in match-play situations players can only practice between holes on the putting green of the previous hole.
The violation was not addressed until after Lahiri hit his tee shot on the par-4 third hole, when a rules official informed him and assistant captain Ernie Els that Lahiri would not be allowed to finish that hole. It meant Schwartzel was left to play on his own ball, and he subsequently lost the hole with a bogey to Chappell’s par to drop the Internationals 2 down after only three holes.
This is Lahiri’s second Presidents Cup appearance after he went 0-3 in South Korea two years ago, including a critical missed putt during his singles match with Chris Kirk. He sat out Friday’s foursomes session, during which the Americans built a 3 ½ to 1 ½ lead.
Lahiri was added as a pick by captain Nick Price. At No. 68 in the latest world rankings, he is the lowest-ranked player on either team.