Lahiri finishes career-best fourth at Black Mountain golf

March 29th, 2009 - 8:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Hua Hin, Thailand, March 29 (IANS) Anirban Lahiri completed his best-ever finish on the Asian Tour in tied fourth place in the Black Mountain Masters golf Sunday. His long-time rival Gaganjeet Bhullar slotted a great finish with a course record of 63 and ended tied fifth.
Sweden’s Johan Edfors came through tense moments before completing a wire-to-wire victory. The big-hitting Edfors fired a four-under-par 68 in the final round to win by two shots over Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and England’s Chris Rodgers in the inaugural US$500,000 Asian Tour event.

Bhullar was tied for fifth alongside last week’s winner, Thai Chapchai Nirat (67) and seasoned Thongchai Jaidee (68).

Rahil Gangjee shot a fourth successive 71 to finish at four-under 284 in tied 42nd, while Himmat Rai (72) was tied 52nd in two-under 286.

The 20-year-old Lahiri was delighted to post his best finish after staying in contention throughout the back nine with a gutsy performance. “I had a chance going into the last three holes. But I blew it on 16 when I three putted for bogey. I had a good yardage but overcooked it. I guess it was the adrenaline.”

“I’m quite happy with the way I played. It was the first time I was playing while being in contention. Given the circumstances and given that this was only my 14th or 15th event on the Asian Tour, I’m happy with how I performed,” said Lahiri.

Speaking about his colleague, Bhullar, Lahiri added, “It is fantastic to see Gaganjeet play the way he is. He was always a prodigy coming through his teens and he is in the form of his life. I don’t think I’ve seen him play better and I am sure he has not seen himself play any better.

“There is a little rivalry between us, it’s been going on for the past six or seven years since our amateur days. Off the field, we’re good friends.

Prayad charged up the leaderboard with a superb 64 and gave himself every chance of retaining his 50th place on the world rankings and earn a ticket to the US Masters in two weeks time. He will need to wait until the completion of the tournaments in Europe and United States later Sunday to know his fate.

Edfors had not won a title following his bumper 2006 season where he triumphed three times on the European Tour. But victory, thanks to his four-day total of 17-under-par 271, was hard earned although he had led from the first round.

Edfors was in control until an errant drive which landed next to a tree led to a double bogey on 16 and dropped him into a tie for the lead. He bounced back with a 10-foot birdie on 16 to regain a one-shot lead and then wrapped up formalities with another birdie on 18 from 15 feet to earn the winner’s cheque of $79,250.

Leading final round scores:

271 - Johan Edfors (SWE) 64-68-71-68

273 - Prayad Marksaeng (THA) 70-72-67-64, Chris Rodgers (ENG) 70-68-67-68

274 - Anirban Lahiri (IND) 69-70-67-68

275 - Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-71-70-63, Chapchai Nirat (THA) 69-68-71-67, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 71-69-67-68

277 - Darren Beck (AUS) 69-66-75-67, John Parry (ENG) 74-69-66-68, Angelo Que (PHI) 68-73-67-69, Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 66-71-70-70, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 71-71-66-69, Peter Cooke (AUS) 67-70-70-70, Jason King (AUS) 68-68-69-72

278 - Will Yanagisawa (USA) 70-71-71-66, Prom Meesawat (THA) 70-69-72-67, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 71-72-68-67, Frankie Minoza (PHI) 67-68-75-68, Kiradech Aphibarnrat (THA) 69-69-71-69, Keith Horne (RSA) 68-71-68-71

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