Re-evaluation or pressing the reset button, as he calls it, is an indispensable part of Anirban Lahiri's routine. Six months down the Panasonic Open, the search for the next Asian Tour title is on, but far from wringing his palms, Lahiri is clear on the path to take. Once you win, either you win again or move on to higher tours, he said. As part of the strategy, he will head to Spain in December to be a part of the European Tour's final stage of qualifying school.
Home or abroad, the tactic remains the same. After the 68 on the opening day of the DLF Masters, the 24-year-old realised that given the difficulty quotient, sticking to routine was a sane way out at the DLF Golf & Country Club. The early morning tee-off did allow him some leeway and Lahiri made the most of it. "The greens were a little softer in the morning, which allowed one to get aggressive. Otherwise, in terms of difficulty, it was the same as yesterday," he said after returning an identical card to take a two-stroke lead over Jyoti Randhawa.
Overnight leader, Jyoti, fell victim to the swirling wind but was happy with the 71. Teeing off from the 10th, Lahiri knew he had to find the fairways, if he were to attack. Despite the bogey on the 13th, he kept his chin up, and soon enough was dealing in birdies. Dropping a stroke just before making the turn did briefly lead to a creased forehead, but overall the outing felt good. For a better part of his front-nine, Lahiri was tested by the swirling gusts, but as the morning wore on, the wind settled down, and with the lull Lahiri too seemed to hit a trough. Barring a 15-footer for birdie on the 3rd, making par was all he could manage, something which was unacceptable.