The Bold Voice of J&K

Anirban Lahiri lifts Macau Open title

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MACAU: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri notched up his second title of the year, lifting the Venetian Macau Open with a sparkling final round of the five-under 66 on Sunday.

The superb weekend combination of 67-66 saw Lahiri land his fifth career win on the Asian Tour.

The 27-year-old, whose goal this year is to get into the top-50 of the World Rankings, shot a final round of five-under 66 to finish at 17-under 267 and edge out the in-form and overnight leader, Scott Hend of Australia (69) and Thai Prom Meesawat (66) by one stroke.

He had started the week on the 90th spot in the rankings and could now move up to 72nd.

Lahiri dropped just one bogey in his last 44 holes. He had six birdies, four on the front nine and two on the back nine and his only blemish was the bogey on seventh. His previous bogey came on the first hole, after he started from the tenth on the second day.

A proof of his consistency was that he had two flawless rounds — 61 on first day and 67 on third — and he wavered only on the second when he dropped five bogeys in his 73.

Among other Indians, Shiv Kapur (67) was eighth at 10-under 274, while Jyoti Randhawa (70) was tied 15th at six-under 278. Jeev Milkha Singh (68) was tied 26th at three-under 285 and SSP Chowrasia (70) was tied 32nd at two-under 286.

Lahiri started the day two shots behind overnight leader, Hend, who was coming fresh off a win in Hong Kong last week.

Lahiri and Hend, both of whom admitted to liking playing with each other – Hend was winner last year with Lahiri second at Macau 2013 – turned in 32 each.

Lahiri had four birdies on second, sixth, eighth and ninth and one bogey on seventh on front nine while Hend had an eagle on second and birdies on seventh and eight and a bogey on ninth. Hend’s lead of two was still intact.

Hend dropped a shot on the 11th hole but picked a birdie on 13th only to bogey the 14th. As Lahiri picked a birdie on 14th, both players were now level at 16-under.

Meesawat, meanwhile, set the clubhouse target of 16-under following his final round 66.

Lahiri pulled ahead for the first time since the first when he birdied the 15th to go to 17-under, but Hend replied in style with a birdie on the 16th to draw level again.

A par each for both meant they came to the 18th tied for the lead. Both reached the edge of the green in two. Lahiri sent his third 10ft past the flag and Hend chipped but was still some distance and then the Australian left his birdie putt too short.

Lahiri, with a putt to win, missed the birdie chance. Hend missed the par putt while Lahiri sank the clutch putt for par and emerged outright winner, successfully ending a week that started with a stunning 10-under 61 on first day.

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