Lahiri fades away on back nine, ends 22nd at Macau Open golf

October 26th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Macau, Oct 26 (IANS) Rookie professional Anirban Lahiri crumbled under the pressure just as he was in sight of his first top-10 finish on the Asian Tour and ended tied 22nd in the Macau Open golf here Sunday.Lahiri (72) was six-under 278 while Taipei-based Australian David Gleeson ended his six-year title drought with a wire-to-wire success at the Macau Open. Gleeson nailed his second straight two-under-par 69 in the final round for a tournament record total of 18-under-par 266 at the Macau Golf and Country Club.

The Indian was second at the midway stage before dropping to 12th after third round, but looked set for a top-10 as he went through the front nine in four-under 32. But he cracked on the back nine, dropping a bogey on tenth, a double on 12th and then despite a birdie on 13th, he ended bogey-bogey for a four-over 40 on backstretch and a card of one-over 72. He finished 22nd, but was still the best Indian in the week.

Rahil Gangjee (68) and Digvijay Singh (69) ended in a tie for 26th at five-under 279, while Gaganjeet Bhullar (69), who had an eagle on the second hole, was tied 32nd at four-under 280. Gaurav Ghei (70) ended one-under 283 and in tied 49th place.

Gleeson, who won the 2002 Volvo China Open, bettered the previous total of 268 set by American Jason Knutzon in 2004. The Australian walked away with the top prize of $79,250 and rose to 21st spot on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit.

“I told my caddie (Sanker Ganesan) at the start of the tournament that I wanted to win this week by as many shots as possible. I also told myself that if I don’t go for it, I won’t have a chance so I’m happy that I went for it this week,” said Gleeson.

Chinese Taipei’s Lin Wen-tang produced a 66 to claim second place while compatriot Kao Bo-song was even-par for the day and finished in lone third spot. Filipino Mars Pucay shot a 65 and ended his week in joint fourth spot together with England’s Yasin Ali who posted a 68 for a 271 total.

But it was Gleeson who fended off a strong charge from the Chinese Taipei duo of Kao and Lin to nail his second success on the Asian Tour.

He started the day with a drop shot on the opening hole and was level with Kao who had birdied the second hole. But Gleeson bounced back with five birdies against two bogeys before leaving the ball within a foot away from the cup for the win.

Prior to his success, Gleeson had chalked up top-10 finishes at the Singha Thailand PGA Championship, Brunei Open and the Pertamina Indonesia President Invitational this season. In 2007, Gleeson enjoyed three top-10 finishes and competed in his maiden Major championship at the British Open.

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