Hoylake: Two years ago after he had the Royal Lytham and St Annes abuzz with a stunning hole-in-one, ace golfer Anirban Lahiri is back at the British Open for a second start.
The 27-year-old, who has won four Asian Tour titles and leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit, got a late exemption forcing a change in his plans, including cutting short his honeymoon.
After losing an old passport with a valid visa, money and a bag and then getting delayed due to flights, Lahiri is finally here to begin his second campaign at the oldest of the four Majors, starting on Thursday.
“It is always great to say I am playing the Open. That’s the Major we knew most about,” says Lahiri.
Lahiri, arriving in Hoylake on Saturday, immediately got down to business, putting in three practice rounds in three days. “I played 18 on Sunday, 16 on Monday and a bit on Tuesday,” said Lahiri, who is trying to shake off the effects of tiredness caused by off-course anxieties of late.
“Honestly, I have had more problems off the course than on course,” he said with a laugh, adding: “But now I am very well focused. I’m really enjoying being here, it’s a lot of fun. I love playing links golf. I think it suits my game as I’m a lot of hands and feel and not so mechanical.
“Out here (at links), you have to commit to every shot. In the practice rounds so far, it’s been about figuring out which shot I want to hit and committing to it. A few times previously, I wasn’t sure and hit shots which have been destructive.
“I have played in two different kinds of winds over the past two days, which is very important On one hole, I hit driver and three iron and today, I hit three iron and pitching wedge.”