Lahiri’s affair with DGC continues,takes first round lead

Throughout his amateur days and deep into his professional career,the Delhi Golf Club was no go territory for Anirban Lahiri.

Written by Smriti Sinha | New Delhi | Published: February 23, 2012 4:46:19 am

Throughout his amateur days and deep into his professional career,the Delhi Golf Club was no go territory for Anirban Lahiri. The heavily forested course,the narrow fairways,the wind swirling in the trees and the prospect of a scorecard full of bogey blues had been a part of his perennial nightmare. But all that changed last year when he was in contention to win the Asian Tour’s SAIL Open at the course he had dreaded throughout his childhood. It was also at this course, that he won his maiden international title at the Panasonic Open last year.

With the monkey off his back,the DGC is starting to become a happy hunting ground for the 25-year-old but the Day One leader of the 2012 SAIL-SBI Open cautions against a fairytale ending – the DGC needs just one hole to turn things around in an unfavourable manner,he says.

With a score of 7-under 65,without a single dropped shot,it looks less likely that he will go that way. “I’ve been getting more and more comfortable at Delhi Golf Club and when I come here,I feel positive now as compared to this whole aura of negativity that I’ve always attached to it earlier. I think I’ve managed to change that around. Having said that,you can still play a bad round of golf and walk away with a bad score here. I feel that I’m in better control of my game plan and I’m much assured of what to hit off the tee,” Lahiri said.

Lahiri hit 15 fairways in regulation with accurate hitting and sank several long putts including one 25-foot one,exorcising the ghosts of last weekend’s short game woes at the Avantha Masters. The highlight of his Wednesday round was four birdies in five holes from the 14th to the 18th – a photo finish that took away the limelight from Asian Tour newbie,Canadian Ron Harvey Jr,who was in sole lead with a blemish-free 6-under round for much part of the day.

“I had a really conservative game plan and it’s a lot easier when you hit onto the fairways all-day. I used lots of three and four irons and only hit two or three-woods and I guess that made it seem a lot easier. I’m going to stick to the same game plan of being conservative as that’s what worked for me,” Harvey said.

The third in line is a two-time Asian Tour winner on the DGC and a former winner of the SAIL Open,Swede Rikard Karlberg with a score of 5-under. The heartbreak moment of the day went to Mukesh Kumar from Mhow who was in a zone with five consecutive birdies but hit a rough patch at 6-under when he dropped a double and a bogey to finish off at 4-under along with three other Indians Manav Jaini,Gaganjeet Bhullar and Mohd. Islam. Though defending champion Kiradech Aphibarnrat fell as low as tied 64,Thaworn Wiratchant and Chapchai Nirat at tied 9 and 11 respectively,are holding fort for the Thais.

Leaderboard:

65: Anirban Lahiri (IND)

66: Ron Harvey Jr (CAN)

67: Rikard Karlberg (SWE)

68: Mohd Islam (IND),Scott Hend (AUS),Mukesh Kumar (IND),Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND),Manav Jaini (IND); 69: Javi Colomo (ESP),Thaworn Wiratchant (THA)

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