Anirban Lahiri rues poor Presidents start

Published 10/08/2015, 1:26 PM EDT
International team member Anirban Lahiri of India tees off on the fourth hole during the opening foursome matches of the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji


By Peter Rutherford

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INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) – Anirban Lahiri is savouring the ‘extremely special’ experience of being the first golfer from India to play at the Presidents Cup but admits he and playing partner Thongchai Jaidee did not do themselves justice on Thursday.

The International pair were hammered 5&4 by Americans Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker in the alternate shot ‘foursomes’ format as the United States roared to a 4-1 lead on the opening day.

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While Fowler and Walker are also making their Presidents Cup debuts it was clear they handled the conditions better, particularly the large rolling greens at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course.

“I think both Thongchai and I were nowhere close to our best,” said Lahiri. “There were opportunities that I could have made a few more putts definitely, and then I think on the back nine we just let it all get away from us really quick.”

Fowler’s putting, he said, was on a different level.

“He putted great all day. If I’m not mistaken, he must have made about six or seven one-putts, and none of them were inside of 10 feet,” added Lahiri, who is one of five Asia-born players on the 12-man International roster.

International team member Thongchai Jaidee (R) of Thailand and teammate Anirban Lahiri of India walk on the first hole during the opening foursome matches of the 2015 Presidents Cup golf tournament at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon, South Korea, October 8, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

“When you play badly, you want to assume as much responsibility for it. I’m sure Thongchai feels the same way. It’s one of those days,” he said.

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A double winner on the European Tour this year, Lahiri has risen to 39th in the world and finished an impressive fifth in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in August.

Despite the early setback, Lahiri said his team mates had the talent to claw back the deficit.

“It’s a long ways to go. It’s not an ideal start. You don’t want to find yourself chasing, but now that we are in that position, we’re going to chase it down,” he added.

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(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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