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June 4 (Reuters) - After his sizzling finish at the Memorial tournament in Ohio on Sunday saw him vault into a tie for second place, Anirban Lahiri may be regretting his decision to withdraw from U.S. Open sectional qualifying.
Lahiri stormed home with the day’s lowest round, a bogey-free seven-under-par 65, to finish three strokes behind winner Jason Dufner at Muirfield Village.
“I haven't played well out here the last couple of months. I've been pretty harsh on myself. I've beat myself up pretty bad,” the Indian told reporters.
“Coming into this week I just decided to be nice to myself and go out there and enjoy my golf, which I found wasn't happening as often as it should. So I just went out and had fun.
"Sometimes when you push yourself harder, it works against you, and I feel that was what was happening. I wasn’t in a good frame of mind and I think that’s what’s changed this week."
After starting the week ranked 90th in the world, Lahiri is projected to rise into the low 60s. The top 60 on Monday June 12 will be exempt into the year’s second major, which starts three days later at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
Sectional qualifying will be held at 10 sites around the United States on Monday but Lahiri has decided to take the week off and will not be at any of them.
"I'm not qualifying tomorrow," he said. "I pulled out of that about a week ago."
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford;