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Lahiri clinches title

other Updated: Apr 10, 2011 00:54 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
Anirban Lahiri

The years of longing are over. Walking down the 18th fairway of the Delhi Golf Club was a special moment for Anirban Lahiri. Engaged in a three-way playoff for the Panasonic Open, the frame was taut with anticipation but the mind had rewound and focussed on, what is, folklore to him.

Since he was nine, Lahiri had been fed on the tale of Gaurav Ghei making eagle on the 18th to win the 1995 Gadgil Western Masters, also an Asian Tour event.

Finding himself in a similar situation on Saturday, the 23-year-old could not have asked for a better setting to offload the "bad memories of the DGC and its bushes".

The week before the SAIL Open (March 22-25), he sat down with mental trainer, Pradeep Aggarwal, to rid himself of the millstone.

A strategy was evolved and, attired in the Blue Jacket and the sleek trophy ensconced in the arms, Lahiri was happy to inform that he had stuck to it.

Starting the day at 12-under 204, three off Singapore's Mardan Mamat, a quick start was the need and so it was with a birdie on the 1st.

Thereafter, the situation started to get out of hand with dropped shots on the 3rd and 9th. It was here that Lahiri reposed faith in the cold putter. The sequence of birdie-bogey repeated the day's tale of a bad shot negating the momentum, but that was till the eagle on the 14th. The race for the top cheque was a three-cornered contest between Manav Jaini, Mamat and Lahiri. But the hours spent training for such an eventuality paid off and Lahiri clinched his maiden Asian Tour win.