Anirban Lahiri: The putter let me down, but I will fight back
“One does not know how the weather will be when I go out for my second round, but all I know is I need to put my head down and repair the damage,” writes Anirban Lahiri after the first round of the British Openother sports Updated: Jul 20, 2017 23:13 IST
It might seem strange to say that I created a lot of chances and yet came back with a three-over 73, which leaves me a lot of work to do on Friday afternoon. A real rough patch at the start of my back nine – four bogeys in a row – is not easy to handle, but I am glad I was able to fight back somewhat with a birdie and 25-foot eagle on the 17th. Even before I could realise, I got hit by a bogey on the last hole and that was disappointing. All the more as I was in a good position.
It was not the best of starts and a mixed bag of sorts. One does not know how the weather will be when I go out for my second round, but all I know is I need to put my head down and repair the damage.
My friend Shiv Kapur had a similar scoring day, but unlike my stretch of bogeys, he was pulled down by a big number – a triple on the seventh.
As for my round, I was not in rhythm. I could not find the fairways and greens and when that is the situation, one always struggles to put up a score. Frankly, I should not have dropped more than two shots at best. Instead, I dropped six as my putter let me down badly. I did not have touch on the greens.
I left myself in good positions to get up-and-down quite often but I was not sharp enough. I must have missed at least six putts from inside six feet. That is just too much for any event, let alone a Major.
But I am happy the way I fought back after that stretch of bogeys; I knew I had to focus more. That is easier said than done but I’m happy I got a birdie and eagle to repair some damage.
The conditions were not easy, with a crosswind that made things difficult. It was also quite cold and wet, but then that is something to be expected at The Open. I believe the wind was between 10-16 miles an hour and when it is crosswind it can be tough.
The stars of the day were Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka who returned fabulous cards of five-under 65 each. Spieth is looking for a third part of his career slam after winning the first two Majors – Masters and US Open in 2015. He is looking in great form and this start will be a big boost.
Koepka is a freshly-minted Major champion, having won the US Open last month.
Ian Poulter (67) showed that he does love Birkdale, where he was second when Padraig Harrington won back in 2008.
(To watch The Open live, tune in to DSPORT at 11 a.m. IST)
(Anirban Lahiri is writing this golf article exclusively for Hindustan Times. The views expressed are personal)