Lahiri Laughs to Victory

Sat 09 Apr 2011

Lahiri Laughs to Victory

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New Delhi, India, April 9: India’s Anirban Lahiri won the inaugural Panasonic Open (India) by defeating Singapore’s Mardan Mamat and compatriot Manav Jaini in a three-way play-off after the trio had ended regulation play on 13-under-par 275 total on Saturday.
Lahiri, who posted a final round one-under-par 71, secured his maiden title with a birdie on the 18th play-off hole as Mardan and Jaini could only managed to make pars at the newest US$300,000 event on the Asian Tour which is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
The 23-year-old Indian was clearly delighted with his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour as he never had a good record at the Delhi Golf Club and was always receiving jokes about his inability to win at the venerable golf club.
“This is really a special feeling for me. Somebody once told me that if I could win at the Delhi Golf Club, I would probably be laughing as I have had such a bad record here. I guess the joke is on them now,” said Lahiri.
The title race for the Panasonic Open (India) went all the way down to the wire with the pressure-packed final round for all to see.
Lahiri had trailed overnight leader Mardan by three shots going into the final round and he opened his round well with an opening birdie before dropping two shots on holes three and nine.
He made another birdie on the 10th hole before another bogey on the par-three 12th set him back again.
However it was a magical eagle-three on the par-five 14th which led him back to the summit for a share of the lead with four holes remaining.
The lead was shared between Jaini and Lahiri until Mardan birdied his closing 18th to take inaugural event into a play-off.
“I’m happy that I kept myself in it because I was always trailing in the back-nine so I’m really happy to be able to come from that position and win,” said Lahiri.
“Before the play-off started, I gave a quick call to my psychologist and he told me to concentrate and believe in my abilities and I guess it paid off,” added Lahiri.
Mardan was left to rue another missed opportunity that could have ended his five-year winless streak.
The Singaporean had a late birdie on the closing 18th to thank for giving him a place in the play-off after a double-bogey on the 17th cost him to slip one back to second place then.
“It was a bad club selection and it cost me dearly,” said Mardan who chose to use a six-iron on the par-three 17th.
However with Lahiri sinking his 10-feet putt for birdie at the play-off hole, Mardan could only watch and ponder what might have been his day.
“It was not my day but what I can take from this week’s performance is that I’ve have the ability to compete at the highest level and I’m looking forward to Malaysia next week,” said the 43-year-old Singaporean.
Playing on his home course, Jaini finished in the top-five in his last three starts at the Delhi Golf Club but was disappointed that he was not able to add a win to that proud record this week.
“I missed several shorts putts especially in my last four holes. That cost me the tournament,” said Jaini.
Panasonic, the worldwide leader of electronic product manufacturers, has committed to the title sponsorship in India as an extension of the brand’s involvement with professional golf in Asia as it also hosts the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open in Japan, a tournament jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour.
The top three players of the Panasonic Open (India) will be invited to play in Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, scheduled from September 22 to 25 at Biwako Country Club in Shiga Prefecture.
Leading final round scores
275 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 65-71-68-71, Mardan Mamat (SIN) 67-65-69-74, Manav Jaini (IND) 71-67-67-70
*Lahiri won in the first play-off hole
277 - Prom Meesawat (THA) 74-70-66-67
278 - Jyoti Randhawa (IND) 73-66-68-71, Ali Sher (IND) 73-71-69-65
279 - Himmat Rai (IND) 70-67-70-72, Unho Park (AUS) 77-69-66-67
280 - Tjaart Van Der Walt (RSA) 72-68-71-69
281 - Ben Fox (USA) 70-66-74-71, Chawalit Plaphol (THA) 74-66-71-70
282 - Berry Henson (USA) 71-73-68-70, S.S.P. Chowrasia (IND) 73-72-68-69
Ends
About the Panasonic Open 2011 (INDIA)
The Panasonic Open (India) is the latest tournament in India to join the established Asian Tour in 2011. Held at the venerable Delhi Golf Club from April 6 (Wednesday) to 9 (Saturday), 2011, the tournament will be beamed to over 40 countries and 440 million homes throughout four days of highlights. The Panasonic Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), is supported by Panasonic India as the title sponsor, Crowne Plaza Today New Delhi Okhla (Official Hotel), Carlsberg Exceptionals (Official Sponsor), Teacher’s Origin (Official Sponsor), Inetol (Official Headwear), Pepsico (Official Beverage), Callaway (Official Ball) and 4moles.com (Digital Media Sponsor).
About Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Panasonic Open
The Asia-Pacific Open Golf Championship Panasonic Open is co-sanctioned event of Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour and hosted by Panasonic Corporation, Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and Japan Golf Association. A 150,000,000 yen (approx. 1,700,000USD) event will be held at prestigious Biwako Country Club at Shiga Prefecture, Japan from September 22nd (Thu) to 25th (Sun),Japanese Star Ryo Ishikawa, sponsored by Panasonic, is the host player of the event. ,
About Panasonic Corporation
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.42 trillion yen (US$79.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2010. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.
About Panasonic India
Panasonic makes available in India its wide range of consumer electronics and home appliances like LCD & Plasma TVs, DVD players, home theatre systems, cameras, camcorders, car audio systems, air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, microwave ovens, automatic cookers, vacuum cleaners and the like. The Company has a workforce of about 11,000 in India and has registered sales of Rs 2,200 crore in FY 2009, and estimated to do a turnover of Rs 3,200 crore in FY 2010. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand in India, please visit http://panasonic.co.in.
About the Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia.  This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include J.Lindeberg (Official Apparel Partner), Ricoh (Official Office Solutions Provider), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Royal Selangor Pewter (Official Trophy Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Pan Pacific (Official Hotel), BlackBerry (Official Mobile) and Srixon (Official Ball). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.