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Trip home to India sparks Lahiri's good play

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Four days at home might have been just what Anirban Lahiri needed to bag his first PGA Tour title.

Lahiri returned home to India for the first time in 18 months between the Presidents Cup and the start of the new season. He tied for 10th at the CIMB Classic, then shot 69 Saturday at the CJ Cup to sit just two shots back heading into the final round.

“Four days at home for me was like chicken soup,” he told reporters. “It was just nice to go back and spend time with friends again. Those four days felt like four hours. It just makes you happy and appreciate all the things, all the friends, all your family.

“Home for me is very special. It just puts you in the right frame of mind coming out to play and gets you motivated again.”

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Lahiri, 30, spent much of his early career on the Asian Tour. “I pretty much honed my skills here for the first seven or eight years of my career,” he said. “I’m really comfortable when I’m playing out here.”

He recalled his first time coming to Jeju Island, about seven years ago. “I remember that was the coldest I’ve ever been on the golf course in my entire life,” he said.

It was cold, rainy, and the wind blew in off the North China Sea. A stiff wind made scoring difficult Saturday, but Lahiri had perspective.   

“This is a big bonus to get the sun out,” he said, “so I’m just happy to play in these conditions.”