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Updated: November 9, 2009 00:38 IST

Lahiri lifts BILT Open

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Anirban Lahiri, who won the Bilt Open Golf Tournament. Photo: Sandeep Saxena
Anirban Lahiri, who won the Bilt Open Golf Tournament. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Anirban Lahiri broke the overall course record as the Bangalore golfer lifted the BILT Open title with a staggering seven-stroke lead that also catapulted him to the top of the domestic Order of Merit.

Lahiri, who carded a one-under 71 in the final round, bagged the highest prize money ever on the Aircel-PGTI Tour, taking home Rs 16,16,500 at the Rs one crore event at the Jaypee Greens Golf Resort.

The 22-year-old ended the tournament with a total of 20-under 268, breaking Jyoti Randhawa’s record of 19-under 269 for 72 holes that was set last year.

Naman Dawar (70) totalled 13-under 275 to finish as the runner-up. Lahiri’s second professional win has taken his earnings in the current season to Rs 34,79,720.

Lahiri, who made three birdies and a bogey on his remaining nine holes from round three in the morning, led the field by six strokes at 19-under 197 after the third round with a 66.

He made s birdie-eagle-bogey start in the fourth round and Lahiri sank another birdie on the fifth to get way ahead of the chasing pack and almost seal the title.

His eagle on the second came off a good drive and an even better four iron second shot from 225 yards that landed within one foot of the hole.

The Asian Tour regular then dropped two strokes on the ninth and 10th before picking up his last birdie of the day on the 12th. A bogey followed on the 15th but Lahiri still managed to cruise to a comprehensive seven-stroke victory.

“This win gives me loads of confidence for the remaining events this season, especially the international ones. It also feels good to be leading the Order of Merit at this stage even though a lot of golf remains to be played this season,” said Lahiri.

“I wasn’t thinking about the win but wanted to shoot a total score of 24 to 25 under. I did not try to protect my lead at any stage and just focused on my own game. I have been working on changing my swing in the recent past and that seems to have helped my game,” he added.

Himmat Singh Rai and Digvijay Singh finished tied third at 11-under 277, while Vikrant Chopra and Harendra Gupta shared the fifth spot at 10-under 278. Mukesh Kumar ended the tournament with a total of nine under 279 to be lone seventh.

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