Unlike Rahil Gangjee's diligent jottings, Anirban Lahiri is comparatively laid back. As per the programme chalked out by their mental trainer, Pradeep Aggarwal, the two are advised to give vent to feelings in writing after every round. Once the rants and raves are captured in print, the aim is to start the next day with a level head. Gangjee, who is going through the PGA Tour Q-School, has filled up almost two-and-a-half notebooks, but Lahiri is still halfway into his second. Irrespective of the past, the exercise will gain momentum on Friday evening, as it is imperative he lets out the ire.
At nine-under 207, Lahiri would be going into the final day of BILT Open at the Karnataka Golf Association course with a solitary stroke lead over Amardip Sinh Malik, but giving away shots at various junctures caused the early three-stroke lead to shrink.
A stroke behind Malik after Thursday, it was a picture-perfect start with a birdie on the opening hole. The campaign gained momentum on the 5th as Lahiri saved another shot while Malik double-bogeyed to allow the former to go ahead by three. Problems started after making the turn with consecutive bogeys on the 10th and 11th leaving Lahiri befuddled.
"Historically, the back nine is the stretch where I score the most, today was a bit surprising," he said.
There was no respite from the roller coaster ride as after picking up shots on the 12th and 15th, Lahiri missed a close putt to fumble on the final hole. Disappointment was writ large on the unshaven face, but falling back on his training to draw positives from any situation, he said.
"It's good because there is no room for defence and I'll have to be on the offensive."
The birdies were there to be taken, but Amardip Malik's unresponsive putter stood in the way. For all his efforts through the day, Malik had just one birdie to show but it was credible that he did not fall to pieces after the double bogey.
"Had it been the old times, post the double, I would have gone for the flag all the time, pulled out stupid clubs and, in the process, fallen apart. Today, I told myself the double wasn't my fault (problems started after mud got stuck under the ball) and carried on to enjoy the experience of playing in the leader-group," he said. Malik has withstood the initial phase of the weekend challenge and he is confident that the newfound temperament will pass the test.