Kuala Lumpur, 14 October, 2017: Anirban Lahiri is deeply connected and familiar with the chemistry that defines a soldier. His father was a doctor for the armed forces and while senior Lahiri was busy treating soldiers, the son seems to have acquired a fine taste for life in the trenches. Not for the first time, Lahiri produced a lion hearted effort just after a miserable outing the previous day. Only this time, he delivered a true master class in a aggressive golf.
Anirban, disappointed as he was with a rain soaked 73 on Friday, rose up to the occasion with a brilliant 64 that had four birdies on either side of the trek. It was a magnificent and impressive effort from a man eager to impose himself in the winner’s club of the PGA TOUR.
That victory may still have to wait, with Pat Perez building up a massive lead midway through his third round. The American of Mexican heritage was at 19-under through the 15th hole. Remember though that Anirban enjoyed a four stroke lead on Sunday last year, before melting back to finish in T3.
Anirban’s climb to 6th (at the time of this report) sets up another mouth watering Sunday of golf for a growing number of Indian fans. If he plays with the freedom and composure that he displayed today, another low score is well within the reach of the 68th ranked Indian.
“I was very disappointed with my effort yesterday,” said Anirban. The bogey at the seventh upset me and I tried too hard after that. I unnecessarily put too much pressure on myself on Saturday.
“The first few holes today were very important. Once I started to feel the ball better, I just kept to my plan. I am happy with where I am. It will take a 20 something to win here, so I will need another low round tomorrow. I am happy that I have at least given myself a chance.”
Meanwhile, SSP Chawrasia suffered under the sunny conditions in Kuala Lumpur. With temperatures in the mid thirties, the conditions were racier on Saturday. Chawrasia, normally very reliable with his short game, was playing well below his standards, slipping back to one over with a 74.
Chawrasia started his day with two pars, but conceded a shot at the 12th hole, which has been playing difficult all week. He did well from there to reach the bend without any further damage.
But bogeys at the first and eighth, could not be offset by a lone birdie that came late in the round. “I struggled with my game today,” admitted Chawrasia. “I wasn’t hitting the ball too well. With the putter failing too, it was a difficult day. I will go back to the range and work a little this afternoon to try and produce a good round on Sunday.”