Lahiri lights up Venetian Macau Open with stunning 61

Thu 23 Oct 2014

Lahiri lights up Venetian Macau Open with stunning 61

Macau, October 23: Indian star Anirban Lahiri produced the fireworks with a magnificent 10-under-par 61 to lead the Venetian Macau Open by one shot from in-form defending champion Scott Hend of Australia on Thursday.
Lahiri, currently second on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, brilliantly sank a 15-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole at the Macau Golf and Country Club to post his career low round and surpass last year’s record-equaling 62 in the final round which saw him finish runner-up.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
Australian Sam Brazel carded a 64 for third place while Switzerland’s Martin Rominger and another Aussie, Adam Groom produced 65s on a glorious opening day at the Venetian Macau Open, which is offering a record US$900,000 prize fund this week.
Star attractions Ernie Els of South Africa and three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee, who both played alongside Hend, settled for 70s to trail the leader by nine shots while Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez struggled on the greens for a 72, taking 33 putts.
With India celebrating Diwali, which is known as the Festival of Lights, back home, Lahiri, who is a four-time Asian Tour winner, was delighted to deliver the cheers to his fans back home as he took full advantage of near benign conditions at the par-71 Macau course.
“It’s a great Diwali and happy Diwali to everyone back home. It’s nice to have some fireworks on the course,” smiled Lahiri, who needed only 22 putts for his round.
“It’s fantastic. I really played solid all day and it was nice to get such fantastic weather and putt well. I think I did really well inside of 15 feet ... this is the best I’ve putted for a while. My good friend S. Chikka who is playing this week pointed something out and he knows my game really well.
Adam Groom of Australia Adam Groom of Australia
“Sometimes my putting stroke doesn’t flow as well as it needs to and he spotted a little thing that really helped me. I felt really comfortable on the greens. I’m really happy.”
With Hend, who was in the group in front, setting the clubhouse target after a brilliant inward 29, Lahiri, who had eight birdies on the card, including four in a row from the 12th hole, finished his round in style when he found the par five 18th green with two mighty blows before rolling in his eagle.
“I knew he (Hend) birdied 17 and 18 and when I got to 18, I saw he was on nine-under. I told my caddie that last year, we got it to nine-under and let’s see if I can hole this 15-footer. It would be really nice to have the course record (Note: Today’s 61 is an unofficial record as the preferred lie rule was in effect).”
Big-hitting Hend, who won the Hong Kong Open last week for his sixth Asian Tour title, extended his run of form where his back nine was brilliant. The free-swinging Aussie nailed five birdies and one eagle to give himself a chance of joining Zhang Lian-wei as the only men to win the Venetian Macau Open twice.
“I just played good, missed a few putts though. The softness from the (overnight) rain made it easier than normal and we were lucky conditions were benign. This course can still jump up and bite you. I’m hitting the ball good, putting good and thinking good. It usually adds up with a bit of luck for a good score,” said the 41-year-old.
“Just the first round, three more days to go ... it’s pretty hard to keep the galloping pace up and sometimes, you have to bring the pace back to a little trot.”
Ernie Els of South Africa Ernie Els of South Africa
Els, third here at the Venetian Macau Open last year and joint fifth in Hong Kong on Sunday, cruised to three under through 10 holes before a run of three dropped shots pulled him down the leaderboard.
“I’ve got a lot of work to do. Scott is on wonderful golden form and he showed us the way. There are a lot of birdies to be made especially with conditions today where it’s soft and you can be aggressive. But I wasn’t quite on my game,” said the man nicknamed the Big Easy.
Brazel, lying in 66th place on the Order of Merit, enjoyed nine birdies on the card as he moved into third place. “Got off to a slow start, bogeying the 10th hole but after that, it all gelled together. I just stayed patient. There are some daunting tee shots out there and you need to be pretty smart.”
Groom was also delighted to be in the hunt as he is nursing a sore back. Two monster putts from 30 and 25 feet at the fifth and seventh holes kicked started his round. “I just played really steady, kept it in play and hit a lot of greens. I holed a couple of bombs and then it was just pretty steady on the back nine,” said Groom.
“My back is all tapped up. Barbara (tour physiotherapist) is working on it ... magic hands.”
Zhang Lianwei of China Zhang Lianwei of China
The Venetian Macau Open is jointly organised by Macau Sport Development Board of Macau SAR Government (MSDB) and Golf Association of Macau.  It is sanctioned by both the Asian Tour and the Golf Association of Macau, and promoted by IMG.  The Venetian Macao is the title sponsor of the event for a third successive year.
Sponsors joining The Venetian Macao in support of the tournament include Rolex, Air Macau, Blue Girl, Lamborghini and Hong Kong Descente, which carries both the Le Coq Sportif Golf Collection, Twinwood Wine and Munsingwear.
For more details on the Venetian Macau Open, please visit

Scores after round 1 of the Venetian Macau Open 2014 being played at the par 71, 6,604 Yards Macau GCC course (a- denotes amateur):

61 - Anirban LAHIRI (IND).

62 - Scott HEND (AUS).

64 - Sam BRAZEL (AUS).

65 - Adam GROOM (AUS), Martin ROMINGER (SUI).



68 - Marcus BOTH (AUS), Prom MEESAWAT (THA), Sam CYR (USA), CHIANG Chen-chih (TPE), Alex KANG (USA), Pawin INGKHAPRADIT (THA), Jay BAYRON (PHI).

69 - Jaakko MAKITALO (FIN), Pavit TANGKAMOLPRASERT (THA), Nicholas FUNG (MAS), Charlie WI (KOR), Chiragh KUMAR (IND), LAM Chih Bing (SIN), Chris RODGERS (ENG), Daniel CHOPRA (SWE), Pariya JUNHASAVASDIKUL (THA), ZHANG Lian-wei (CHN), Mithun PERERA (SRI), Adilson DA SILVA (BRA), Berry HENSON (USA), Chinnarat PHADUNGSIL (THA), Shaaban HUSSIN (MAS).

70 - Angad CHEEMA (IND), Angelo QUE (PHI), Chapchai NIRAT (THA), Arie IRAWAN (MAS), Chan KIM (USA), CHAN Shih-chang

About Macau Sport Development Board of the Macau Special Administrative Region Government

Macau Sport Development Board, under the capacity of the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture of the Macau SAR Government, is a public organization of administration autonomy. The organization is responsible for the implementation of sport strategy and policy formulated by the Macau SAR Government. Its objective is to stimulate, encourage, and promote all kind of sports in Macau, also to create an essential condition for sport development.
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Founded in 2000, the Golf Association of Macau is a non-profit organization, with the mission to promote, support and ensure the quality, traditions and development of the game of golf in Macau.
With the mission to encourage and promote golf in Macau, it provides coaching, training and selection of the Macau teams for participation in international events at all levels, and promotes and runs appropriate international and domestic golfing events in Macau, which helps to represent Macau in the golfing world and be a member of appropriate regional and world governing bodies.
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Opened in 2007, The Venetian® Macao-Resort-Hotel is Macao's first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice, Italy. The Venetian Macao features 3,000 suites, 1.2 million square feet (111,000 square metres) of convention and meeting facilities as well as a 15,000-seat Cotai Arena designed for world-class sports events and electrifying entertainment. The Venetian Macao is also home to the unique, 1,800-seat luxury Venetian Theatre, hosting the best in international and Chinese entertainment; more than 30 renowned restaurants; TAIVEXMALO Day Hospital & Spa; the incredibly fun QUBE indoor playground and more than 300 retailers at Shoppes at Venetian. Outdoor recreation areas include swimming pools and cabanas and a mini-golf course.
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