Unabashed in his admission that passion plays a major hand on the golf course, Anirban Lahiri says without batting an eyelid, "I'm emotional, and like to show it." After the one-under 71 on Wednesday, a livid Lahiri stormed out of the tournament office. "It felt like a round of four-over," he thundered. The failure to read the speed of the greens meant that most of the putts were either struck too firmly or otherwise.
The opening day of the BILT Open a letdown, he was off to the practice area for speed drills. The exercise went off well, yet the gnawing effect refused to subside. It had been yet another unbridled show, yet coming away from the Jaypee Greens, Lahiri was alive to the situation. "Anger management is a process I'm yet to perfect," he admitted.
If he did not walk off with a blank mind after a bad shot in the previous round, Lahiri regained composure on Thursday. The mind pleasantly distracted after a game of Monopoly with friends, the 24-year-old swore to himself that he would not be swayed, come what may.
An eagle was just the way to start proceedings and soon he was scorching the sylvan greens with his short game. The putter leaving little room for error, the possibility of lip-out was rare.
"There were as many as five yesterday, and I swore to myself that I would not leave more than a few inches for the return putt," he said. Up seven-under after five, the signs were ominous, and Lahiri went on to prove that the second eagle on the 13th was no fluke.
Reeling off birdie after birdie, he obliterated the course record of 64, set by Jyoti Randhawa during the final round of the 2008 edition. The day's 60 also equalled the lowest to par score on Indian soil.
Liang wen-Chong of China had left mouths gaping at the Delhi Golf Club during the opening round of the 2008 Indian Open when he had returned a 60. The card could have read better, but Lahiri knew better than to ponder over the missed 25-feet birdie putt on the final (9th) hole. "The figure of 59 is a magical one, maybe some other day," he said. Task completed, it was time for diversionary tactics again. "A movie tonight, I like to have fun too," he exclaimed.