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British Open: Anirban Lahiri slips on back nine, drops to tied 26th

 Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri returned a one-under 71 after a back-nine tumble to be placed tied 26th after the third round of the weather-hit 144th Open Championships.

British Open: Anirban Lahiri slips on back nine, drops to tied 26th

St Andrews: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri returned a one-under 71 after a back-nine tumble to be placed tied 26th after the third round of the weather-hit 144th Open Championships.

After four birdies in the first 11 holes, he gave away three bogeys between 13th and 17th and finished at one-under 71 to slip from overnight tied 14th to tied 26th.

Amateur Paul Dunne, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Jason Day shared the lead at 12-under.

Overnight leader Dustin Johnson was still at 10-under and had three holes to play.

Beginning his round in style, Lahiri continued his superb march when he returned to the course after a day's gap, caused by an 11-hour disruption due to high-speed winds at the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Lahiri was three-under for the front-nine and became four-under after 11 before dropping three shots in five holes.

Lahiri opened with a birdie on the first and then quietly parred the next two before slotting another on the fourth. Four more steady pars were followed by a third birdie on ninth as he turned in an excellent three-under. A fourth birdie came on 11th.

When he was four-under for the day and nine-under for the tournament, Lahiri was inside top-five for a brief period. Then others began catching up and later Lahiri slipped.

He began the back-nine well with a birdie on the par-three 11th and bogeyed the 13th after missing the second putt, which was a two-footer.

"I hit the ball well to about 25-30-footer for a realistic birdie on 13th and then three-putted," said Lahiri, who also had three putts on par-5 fifth (where he was on the green in two) and the 17th, where he missed a four-footer for par.

After the missed putt on 13th, the disappointment carried onto the next hole and he bogeyed the 14th, too.

"I have played just one hole badly, the 14th. When you hit the trap you take a bogey. I played well. I just missed one green and I needed 35 putts. That's not a good sign," he said.

On the putts, Lahiri added, "I had nine putts on the last four holes. As I said I hit the ball well." He hit to inside 20 feet on 12th, 16th and the 18th.

"The 13th to 17th is he toughest stretch on the course. It is the hardest stretch for everyday. Look at what I have done, I have not hit an OB, I have not hit in the rough. My game is right up there, so I am extremely disappointed. I just need to get the confidence back on the greens. Nothing major, just a tweak and it should be fine," he added.

The feature of Lahiri's play so far has been consistency as he has found most of the greens in the third day. He missed two of the eight fairways, but still found his way back to the green in in regulation.

Lahiri, winner of Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open this season, returned cards of 69 and 70 in first two rounds.

The best finish by an Indian at the Open Championship is tied 27th by Jyoti Randhawa at the 2004 edition, while Lahiri's best is tied 31st in 2012.

The best by an Indian at any Major is tied ninth by Jeev Milkha Singh at the 2008 PGA in Oakland Hills.

No Asian has ever won the Open Championships and in fact the only Asian to win a Major is Y.E.Yang at the 2009 PGA Championships. 

From Zee News

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