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Golf: Lahiri learns lesson after being ‘bitten’ late by Old Course

Anirban Lahiri played with former champion Paul Lawrie in The Open’s Monday finish. Photo: Asian Tour.

Anirban Lahiri played with former champion Paul Lawrie in The Open’s Monday finish. Photo: Asian Tour.

July 21, 2015: Anirban Lahiri’s four dropped shots in his last six holes cost him 20 places on The Open Championship leaderboard, as the India No. 1 vowed to take away some tough lessons from St Andrews.

 

Lahiri signed off at the world’s oldest Major with an even-par 72 on Monday for a four-day total of six-under-par 282, leaving him in a tie for 30th.

 

The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, who was playing at the Old Course for the first time, believes it was his inexperience that cost him after a three-under-par front nine of 33 was offset by a back nine that featured bogeys at 13, 15, 16 and 17.

 

“I can’t say I played well because I dropped too many shots over the last two days which is disappointing. I hit into the bunker so many times this week and that cost me a shot every time,” Lahiri said.

 

“When you hit into these traps and get bitten, you realise how far you have to hit to stay away from them. But it has been a great learning experience and you learn from them especially when you play on the course for the first time.”

 

Starting his round six shots off the lead, Lahiri was determined for a quick charge from the opening tee. Playing with former champion Paul Lawrie of Scotland, Lahiri bogeyed the opener, but fought back with birdies on four, five, seven and nine.

 

His good work was undone with four bogeys in five holes before he recovered one shot with a birdie at the last. However, the four bogeys ultimately cost him a tie for 10th on 10-under and he was left rueing his lack of experience of the famed layout.

 

“I played with Paul Lawrie today and he’s a past champion. He’s so comfortable on the greens and it took him just five seconds to know where his putts were breaking,” Lahiri said. “For me, I was still trying to figure it out, so that speaks volume of what experience does and it showed in me today.”

 

Lahiri, who will turn his attention to the Omega European Masters in Switzerland, continued to remain upbeat of making his impression on the international stage one day. “It’s good that I’m playing these sort of events and on such courses. I can only get better as I progress.”

 

Japan No. 1 Hideki Matsuyama was again Asia’s highest finisher at a major, finishing tied for 18th at eight-under after rounds of 72, 66, 71 and 71, while Thai legend Thongchai Jaidee shared 65th place on two-under (72, 71, 70, 73).

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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