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‘Was targeting a birdie on the 18th’

Calcutta/ Jakarta: On a rainy Sunday at Royale Jakarta Golf Club, Anirban Lahiri emerged a hero, much like his favourite superhero, Batman.

The 26-year-old fought back from a double bogey and a three-hour rain delay to go past the clubhouse leader, Baek Seuk-Hyun of Korea, at the CIMB Indonesian Masters. He delivered a brilliant 20-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole and won his fourth Asian Tour title, his first outside India.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to have my first win abroad,” Lahiri said.

“I came close on a number of occasions in the last few months and I’m really happy to have managed it today. My aim has been to keep improving my rankings and this win has come at the right time,” he added.

Lahiri screamed with delight when he watched his 20-ft eagle putt sink into the hole for a winning total of 17-under-par 271. The victory, though sweet, wasn’t an easy one.

“I had an awkward lie on 13, which resulted in a double bogey. I felt it was the end of the road for a good finish for me. But thankfully, the leader then, Lin Wen-Tang, didn’t go ahead and a birdie on the next hole brought me back into the mix,” said Lahiri, who rates squash his second favourite sport after golf.

Analysing his overall performance, Lahiri, who prefers hitting loads of birdies to a hole-in-one, said, “I was not happy with my putting in the first two rounds and even missed a few birdies on the back nine today by a couple of inches.

“But, in the end, I am happy to finish it that way. I was targeting a birdie on the 18th as the greens were a bit soggy. If I two-putted, I would have to go into a play-off so I didn’t want to leave my putt short and thankfully it went in,” he said.

Aware of the stiff competition that he was facing, Lahiri knew he had to put in superlative effort. “My mind was blank when I prepared for the last putt on 18. All I told myself was I had to get it into the hole. When I was walking up to the greens, I was actually thinking if I need to prepare for a playoff tomorrow morning,” he added.

A self-confessed ‘decent cook’ who enjoys watching movies, Lahiri says he is happy with the way he has started the season. “I have got off to a great start. It’s not easy to start the year like that but I am glad to be on course of reaching my goal to play in a Major. Hopefully, if I can remain in the top-100 till July, I may compete in one of the Majors,” he said.