Jeev Milkha Singh and Anirban Lahiri made it a red-letter day for India at the 141st Open Championship at Royal Lytham as they became the first two golfers from the sub-continent to qualify for the weekend rounds at the same Major.
While Jeev became the first Indian to make a cut in all four Majors,his younger teammate Anirban Lahiri became only the second from the country to make the cut on his Major debut,the first being Jeev at the 2002 US Open.
Brandt Snedeker of the US was leading the field with rounds of 66 and 64 at 10-under 130,while Adam Scott (64-67) was one behind at nine-under 131. Tiger Woods was four behind Scott at five-under with two more holes to play.
As for the Indian golf it was a memorable day as it marked the first time that two Indians have made the cut in the same Major in the same year.
“Excellent,” said Jeev,who shot rounds of 70 and 71 to be one-over 141,when told that Lahiri was also through to the weekend.
“First British Open for him and it’s great that he’s done well. First time we have two Indians in the weekend rounds. It speaks well that the Indians are doing well.”
A total of seven Indians have played in Majors with the first being Gaurav Ghei in the 1997 British Open. But the first Indian to make the cut at the Open was Jyoti Randhawa in 2004,when he finished tied 27th.
In his 12 appearances in Majors,Jeev has made the cut in each of the four at least once,and overall has made eight cuts with tied ninth at the 2008 PGA Championships as his best in a Major.
Randhawa has made six starts in Majors,but made the cut only once in British Open,when he finished tied 27th in 2004. Arjun Atwal has appeared in five Majors but missed the cut in one of them.
Ghei,Shiv Kapur (2006 Open) and Gaganjeet Bhullar (2009) Open have played one Major each and did not make the cut.
Lahiri (68-72) is at even par 140,while Jeev (70-71) is one-over 141.
“I’m very proud I’ve made the cut at the Open. This is the only Major that I’ve not made the cut. This one was missing and I’ve done that too. It’s a cut slam!,” said Jeev.
“I’ve got confidence in my game. You never know on links course. If the wind picks up,anything can happen. It’ll give us a chance to make a run,” he added.
Lahiri said,the event and the cut was special.
“It’s been very special. My dad has been walking with me. I can’t ask for anything more. I’m happy I put in a decent performance for him.”