Calcutta: Anirban Lahiri was clearly in distress, on the third day of the McLeod Russel Tour Championship, the year-ending tournament of the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
Every now and then Anirban rested on the edge of the green as Sanjay Kumar and Rahil Gangjee lined up their putts, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, here.
His boyish face was sullen and looked dehydrated.
But that did not stop him from hitting a seven-under to take a three-stroke lead over Chiragh Kumar after the third round.
“The dinner at Rahil’s place (Anirban is staying with the Gangjees) on Friday night was so good that I overate... It upset my system… I threw up in the morning and played the third round with an empty stomach. I could not eat anything… In the morning I thought I would not be able to complete my round.
“But I have surprised myself… How I managed to continue playing today I do not know. And I played a superb round of golf. My best day at the RCGC I must say,” Anirban said.
For the record, seven-under is Anirban’s best at the RCGC. “Oh it’s my personal best here. I think I hit one six-under at the Eastern India Amateur in 2006 and equalled it on the first day this time.
“So it’s double bonanza for me… Taking a three-stroke lead and also bettering my own record,” he said.
Anirban’s form can be gauged from the fact that he had three chip-ins and two eagles on the day.
“Three chip-ins in a round are a rarity and so are two eagles. I’m thrilled with my effort today (Saturday). I capitalized well on both the par-5s. I started well as I converted my longest putt in six months, a 30-footer, for birdie on the second. I just kept picking up strokes thereafter.”
Talking about Sunday, Anirban said he would have to continue playing good golf. “I will have to keep the momentum going and not think much about winning. Rest will fall into place.”
Anirban, however, said it would not be easy for him. “The way Rahil and Chiragh played today (Saturday), it was amazing. They have a very good chance on Sunday. You cannot predict a winner in golf,” he said.
Well, you cannot. But going by the form, it will be difficult for anyone to beat this man.