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Anirban Lahiri birdies last seven holes but loses playoff at Macao Open

Anirban Lahiri eventually lost, finding the water hazard following an errant drive in the playoff for an anti-climatic finish.

By: Express News Service |
October 17, 2016 1:21:27 am
Anirban Lahiri, Lahiri , Anirban Lahiri vs Pavit Tangkamolprasert, Pavit Tangkamolprasert vs Anirban Lahiri, macao Open, Macao, Golf news, Golf Anirban lahiri bogeyed the 11th, he fell four shots behind Pavit Tangkamolprasert. (Source: Asian Tour)

‘Be good’, Anirban Lahiri ordered the ball as it began its descent towards the fairway from his tee shot on the 17th. And it couldn’t have landed any better – just 10 feet from the hole. All Lahiri had to do was walk the 200-odd yards and putt it for a birdie, which he duly did. That birdie on the 17th was his sixth on the trott. He would follow it up with another on the final hole to make it seven consecutive birdies on the last seven holes to make a stunning comeback and force a playoff at the Macao Open with Thailand’s Pavit Tangkamolprasert.

He eventually lost, finding the water hazard following an errant drive in the playoff for an anti-climatic finish. But before the painful low, came the one of the highest points of Lahiri’s career. According to the information available, Lahiri is the first player on the Asian Tour to birdie his last seven holes. Globally, he is only the third player since 1980 to achieve this feat. However, there was no official confirmation about this from the Asian Tour.

Kevin Streelman was the first player since 1980 to birdie the final seven holes to win the Travellers Championship in 2014. The same year, Sergio Garcia did the same at the Bridgestone Invitational. These records are available only since 1980 as hole-by-hole scoring doesn’t go back any farther than that.

But Lahiri’s feat was as unexpected as it was spectacular. It’s not been a particularly happy season for Lahiri, who has struggled with his putting game and come up short during big moments. Sunday looked no different. When he bogeyed the 11th, he fell four shots behind Pavit, who could do no wrong. Twice a runner up and title winner once here, Lahiri looked like he was heading towards his worst finish in Macao. He would be a cheerleader for his close friend S Chikkarangappa. Chikka, as he is fondly called, was the only person in the field of 80-odd golfers who could match Pavit shot for shot. But on the back nine, even he started to flounder.

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Once Chikka was out of contention, Lahiri decided to step up his game, scoring birdies from 12th to 17th and taking joint lead with Pavit. On the final hole, he attempted a 30-odd foot putt for an eagle that would’ve won him the title, but it was agonisingly short. He eventually birdied 18th as well to force a playoff, where he suffered a heartbreak.

“I think I rushed into that (playoff tee shot) and I was trying to lay up but the rough was a bit thick. It caught the ball and I pulled it left,” Lahiri said. “I guess that was unfortunate to finish like that. I’m happy with the way I played the back nine but disappointed that I finished second again.”

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