India’s rising star Anirban Lahiri fired an Asian Tour career low of nine-under-62 to enjoy a runner-up finish at the Venetian Macau Open on Sunday.
The 26-year-old Lahiri matched the nine-year-old course record held by compatriot Amandeep Johl at the Macau Golf and Country Club as he ended the week three shots behind champion Scott Hend of Australia at 13-under-271.
“I’m really pleased. I played really good right from the start. Yesterday was a similar story but I ran into some trouble on the back nine. I’m glad I kept my cool and played solid in the end,” said Lahiri, who earned US$88,000.
While his bid for a first title outside of India was extended for another week, Lahiri, a three-time Asian Tour winner, was glad he teed up at the Venetian Macau Open after contemplating pulling out earlier.
“I’m chasing it, I’ve come close. I don’t know if I’ve done enough this week but I’m still glad with the way I’ve played the last few days. Didn’t get on to the best starts but I’m glad my golf has improved in the past few weeks,” he said.
“It’s never a bad time to play well. There are some good events coming up, CIMB Classic next week, the Hero Indian Open and then the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf. It gets better and better. It’ll be great to keep this form going.”
He holed a monster putt on the first hole for the first of eight birdies and made eagle on two. Anirban played alongside 2003 Asian Tour number one Atwal, who finished tied 13th on Sunday, in the final round.
“It was awesome playing with Arjun. I looked up to him so much. He’s a great guy to know and play with. Walking down 18, I didn’t know what Scott was on and I knew I just had to make eagle.
“I was in between clubs and looked over to him and said I might need to do a Wyndham and hit it into the stands like he did (to win) and get it in from there. Then he just said “No, you just have to make three, I don’t care how you do it.” It was fantastic having him with me when I played so good,” said Lahiri.
“I got off to a great start, holed a 30-footer on the first hole. That was awesome, I wasn’t expecting that. I changed my driver from yesterday. I’ve had major issues controlling the golf ball but I changed my driver and it gave me confidence having a club that I could control better.
“I was contemplating not playing this week as I’ve just come back from a knee injury. I missed two cuts in Taipei and Japan by a shot or two and I told my caddie that I needed to keep playing and trying to get some rhythm back and get in four days and contend. I’m glad that I came here. I’ve been working hard to get into tournament rhythm and it’s good it’s starting to happen. I’m glad I made some good decisions.”
PGTI member Md Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh finished tied seventh at eight-under-276.
Among the other Indians in the field, Rahil Gangjee was tied 11th (six-under-278), Arjun Atwal ended tied 13th (five-under-279) and Gaganjeet Bhullar, SSP Chowrasia and Chiragh Kumar all secured tied 22nd place (two-under-282). PGTI member Mithun Perera of Sri Lanka also finished tied 22nd.