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Cool Lahiri leaves fretting to others

Scrabble and Monopoly have helped the BILT Open leader handle pressure well.

other Updated: Nov 05, 2011 01:35 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times

Irrespective of how a day unfolds at the Jaypee Greens, Anirban Lahiri looks forward to the after hours.

"The moment I step out of the gate, there is another world waiting for me, where I can switch off from golf and be among friends", he says fondly.

Perhaps the “lower level of expectations” at this remote outpost had a role to play in Thursday's manic chain of events, but the need to soothe the pounding pulse remained. On hand was an instance from the 2009 SAIL Open (at the Classic Golf Resort).

"I shot a 62 on Day II and followed it with a 78," he recalled.

With time, Lahiri's mind and craft have matured, but despite making it to the rank of achievers, the importance of a level head was not lost on him.

The plans for a movie were put on hold. “Probably I'll watch one today on the way back", he said, and another round of indoor games followed. “Scrabble and Monopoly help take the mind off golf,” he said.

The move to stay indoors and allow the excitement to seep out worked as Lahiri had a quiet start to Friday.

His hitting below par on the front nine, Lahiri accepted the foible as his putter bridged the gap. The three birdies were a comedown from the previous day but he kept at work with a mantra in mind.

“When things go your way, you need to keep the head down and flow with the tide. When they aren't, the idea is to keep giving yourself scoring opportunities.” The intent was clear and proof lay in the three birdies at the start of the back nine, but with the putter going cold from thereon, the objective could not be implemented totally.

The solace of placing himself in an advantageous spot was there, though. “That's golf for you,” he said on the missed birdie opportunities on the last four holes.

It was a low-key round, but Lahiri was hopeful of what the final day of the BILT Open could offer. If the ball lands close to the pin, as it did on Friday, the plan to be unreachable will be within grasp. “There is no room to be defensive on this course. I want to play my game and leave the pressure of catching up on the others,” he said.

First Published: Nov 05, 2011 00:00 IST