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Anirban Lahiri: Could not come to terms with the greens at The Open

“When I look at the two rounds that I played all I see is I didn’t make a putt. I had two one putts and hit 15 or 14 greens in these conditions. I just did not get the hang of the greens,” writes Anirban Lahiri after the Day 3 of the British Open.

other sports Updated: Jul 22, 2017 22:00 IST
Anirban Lahiri
Anirban Lahiri
Hindustan Times, Royal Birkdale, Southport
Anirban Lahiri,The Open,Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth is currently in the lead at the British Open while India’s Anirban Lahiri missed the cut.(AP)

Despite playing well, putting was disappointing

So it is the dreaded early exit and a free weekend and that too in the week of a Major. Surely a big disappointment for any professional golfer. A second successive 73 with a bogey at the very last step meant I missed the cut at The Open at Royal Birkdale by the narrowest of margin of one shot.

When I look back at the two days, it is not the cold, nor the wind or the rain that I see, but the putting green, which I just could not come to terms with.

Meanwhile, as the weather abated, the course seems to be affording nice scores on Day 3, the moving day. Branden Grace was in awesome form shooting an incredible eight-under 62 as he rocketed from overnight 43rd to second. But remember there is Jordan Spieth (-6), Brooks Koepka (-3), Rory McIlroy (-1) and Matt Kuchar (-4) yet to come.

Dustin Johnson after 71-72 in first two rounds pulled himself back with a five-under and he still had some holes to play while other players to turn in great scores early on third included Shaun Norris and Scott Hend.

When I look at the two rounds that I played all I see is I didn’t make a putt. I had two one putts and hit 15 or 14 greens in these conditions. I just did not get the hang of the greens. So, it is very disappointing because I played so well this week.

Honestly I don’t think I’m putting badly but I really can’t come to terms with the surface. It is not an excuse. It is on me and it is a terrible feeling to have. I’ve just not been tuned in to the speeds on the greens. I’ve been terrible on the putting surface and that’s something I need to work on.

I created chances and I did not convert them. When that happens, there is no other person to look at but yourself. I was okay with the weather and even the fact that I was at the wrong end of the draw on both days – that happens every once in a while in golf. But what cannot be overlooked is not making the chances count.

Despite all that I had a chance of making the weekend till the very last hole, but there I ended in a bunker with a driver. I may have been better off with a 3-wood. That trip to the bunker meant a costly bogey and a chance to play the weekend.

My colleague Shiv Kapur fought well, too, but he had a similar draw as me and got caught in the worst weather both days. Then that crippling triple on the first day made all the difference.

So, what from here? I am looking at the PGA, the fourth and final Major at Quail Hollow early next month. It is the Major where I had my best result and there hopefully I will find a Major result to satisfy me in 2017.

The learning never stops as the strength of field in PGA tour events is super strong and one is learning each week.

(Anirban Lahiri is writing this golf article exclusively for Hindustan Times. Views expressed are personal)

First Published: Jul 22, 2017 21:58 IST