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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Macau Open: Anirban Lahiri equals course record, finishes second

Macau Open: Anirban Lahiri equals course record, finishes second

October 20, 2013 17:45 IST

Anirban Lahiri equalled the course record with a sensational nine-under 62 at the par-71 Macau Golf and Country Club to finish second at the Venetian Macau Open on Sunday.

Despite a fine show, Lahiri fell three short of the Australian Scott Hend, who won his third title of the season by a commanding three strokes.

Anirban LahiriLahiri, starting the day four-under for 54 holes, cracked eight birdies, an eagle and dropped just one shot to have a shy at the title. 

Hend, carrying an overnight four-shot lead over Ernie Els and Siddikur, never allowed anyone to get close. The big-hitting Hend comfortably held off the chasing pack closing with a four-under-par 67 to for a 16-under-par 268 total to add to his triumphs in Chiangmai and Taipei this year.

Hend, who picked up the champion's cheque of USD 144,000, was delighted to extend his magical season after opening his week with a dismal 74 and then going head-to-head with Els over three rounds. 

Four-time Major champion, Els of South Africa shared third spot with Elmer Salvador of the Philippines after a 67 and 66, respectively in the USD 800,000 Asian Tour tournament. 

Interestingly, the 26-year-old Lahiri tied countryman Amandeep Johl's course mark set in 2004. Other Indians in the fray, Rahil Gangjee (72), lying fourth overnight, slipped to 11th at six-under 278, while Arjun Atwal (70) playing with Lahiri finished tied 13th at five-under 279. 

Defending champion Gaganjeet Bhullar (67) played his best round of the week and ended 22nd alongside SSP Chowrasia (69) and Chiragh Kumar (72). Himmat Rai (70) was tied 45th, Ajeetesh Sandhu (70) tied 53rd, Sujjan Singh (72) tied 57th and Shankar Das (76) was tied 63rd. 

Lahiri, who has three wins on the Asian Tour, got to within two shots of Hend during the final round but was still delighted with his strong finish.

Lahiri, who finished at 13-under 271 said, "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. 

"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." 

Elaborating on his game on the final day, Lahiri said, "I got off to a great start, holed a 30 footer on the first hole. That was awesome, I was expecting that. I changed my driver from yesterday. I hit it close on two to make eagle and kept hitting it close. But I missed a four footer on eight which was a bit silly. 

"I hit it good all day. The highlight is probably my wedge play. What turned it around was the 13th hole. I just birdied 12. I hit it right off the tee into the hazard. I dropped it and I'm just trying to make five and get out of there without dropping a shot. I hit a great shot and got lucky it went in," he explained. 

On his upcoming tournaments, Lahiri said, "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."

Image: Anirban Lahiri of India plays a shot

Photo: Getty Images