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Past lessons help Lahiri calmly stay ahead at DGC

other Updated: Feb 24, 2012 02:40 IST
Robin Bose

No sooner was he asked about his early days at the Delhi Golf Club, the body stiffened. As a practitioner of "holistic" meditation, shunning all that's negative --- feelings or deeds --- is the norm.

"Why focus on it," asked Anirban Lahiri. Pausing for a moment to collect his thoughts, he replied, "What happened then is what kids at that age strive for." Lahiri was 11-and-a-half when he first played the 'B' Course here, and, as expected, the hitting was wild.

"I pulled out the longest club in the bag and tried hitting the ball the farthest." The barren run rankled, and the years of returning empty-handed made him realise that striving for length wasn't the way of getting around here.

If the breakthrough at the Panasonic Open last year helped shed some of the baggage, Lahiri's current ways allow him to explain those days of madness without getting harsh on himself.

"When the hitting is like that, you will spray the ball around. Even today, if I go for distance, the result will be the same."

He has traversed the spectrum, making a switch from sports psychology (channeled to benefit his game) to a more universal form of introspection (which touches all aspects of his existence), but Lahiri has stayed bowed to the exigency of keeping the ball in play.

It's been a while since the driver has been a part of his selection here, and in fact, last year's SAIL Open passed off without the club making an appearance.

The thumb rule

Lahiri has not departed from the "thumb rule". This is part of "doing the small things right", and though the hitting was a shade wayward on Thursday, and the short game could have been better, Lahiri, as is his inclination nowadays, chose to look away.

The 69 was a significant climbdown from the opening day's 65, and the lead had gone up by just a shot, yet satisfaction reigned.

"Regardless of how everyone plays and whether I have the lead or not, if I can stick to what I've been doing, I'll be happy," he said.

The body had been taxed but the mind was at rest, otherwise the aroma wafting down to the scoring area wouldn't have made an impact.

"Smells good, especially when you've gone hungry for five-and-a-half hours," said Lahiri, with a smack of the lips.