Anirban Lahiri fritters bright start, lies 16th after first round
Anirban Lahiri frittered away a great start at five-under through 13 holes, before a lapse in concentration saw him drop as many as three shots over next four holes to finish at two-under 70, that still placed him tied 16th after the first day at the USD 3 million Maybank Malaysian Open here on Thursday.
Kuala Lumpur: Anirban Lahiri frittered away a great start at five-under through 13 holes, before a lapse in concentration saw him drop as many as three shots over next four holes to finish at two-under 70, that still placed him tied 16th after the first day at the USD 3 million Maybank Malaysian Open here on Thursday.
Lahiri, who was briefly in joint lead, ended four shots behind the co-leaders Lee Westwood and Graeme McDowell, who shots six-under 66 each.
Lahiri was the best Indian on a day when most of his colleagues played way below their best. Shiv Kapur (72) was tied 40th, Rashid Khan and Jeev Milkha Singh carded 73 to be tied 58th and Gaganjeet Bhullar (74) was 78th. SSP Chowrasia and Arjun Atwal carded 76 each to be 103rd, Rahil Gangjee shot 77 and Jyoti Randhawa 78.
Lahiri was understandably upset.
"I'm quite disappointed. It is not often that you should two-under on this golf course and you feel bad. It was disaster coming in because I played really good. One bad shot and I lost my focussed and could not hole any putts," said Lahiri, who started from tenth and birdied the 10th, 12th, 14th, second and third to go to five-under.
Speaking of his rough patch, he said, "I hit it into the greenside trap on the par five sixth hole. Hit a bad bunker shot and got unlucky because the ball kicked forward and went into the water. Oh the next hole, I made a bad swing and missed a short putt."
Westwood and McDowell had seven birdies and one bogey each ? both dropping a shot each on par-5 sixth hole. The Asian challenge was led by Malaysian Danny Chia, who carded five-under 67 with seven birdies and two bogeys where he was joined by Korean Kang Sung-hoon and the third player in tied third was England's Tommy Fleetwood.
Five players, including Prom Meesawat, carded 68 each.
Lahiri, 27, who won twice and finished second on the Order of Merit last year, hopes to bounce back and build on his early opening day momentum at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club West course.
"I should have built on the round. I missed way too many putts. The way I hit it today, I should have hit a five or six-under but I let it slip away from it. I need to stay a bit more patient. I tried to push it a bit harder and I lost some focus," he said.
Playing in only his second event in 2015, Lahiri changed to a new routine during the break to stay competitive.
"I'm not rusty. I was rusty three weeks back. I changed my practice routine in the last couple of weeks. Usually I don't play a lot of golf but I played three rounds of golf back-to-back and that's something which I don't normally do in my off-season," said Lahiri.
Westwood launched his bid for a record-tying third Maybank Malaysian Open firing a brilliant six-under-par 66 to share the first round lead with Ryder Cup teammate Graeme McDowell.
Westwood, who won the title in 1997 and romped to a seven-shot victory here last season, snared seven birdies against a lone bogey at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club?s West course and was matched by Northern Irishman McDowell, who produced a matching card.
Malaysia's Danny Chia provided the local cheers with a strong 67 to tie for third place with Tommy Fleetwood of England and Korea's Kang Sung-hoon at the USD 3 million championship co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour.
"I'll take that. I putted very nicely and started the ball on line well. I left a couple short in the middle when I was fooled by the grain but overall I'm very happy. It's probably the toughest I've ever seen this golf course play," said Westwood, who is ranked 30th in the world.