A dominant win
Ranked 35 in the World, Anirban Lahiri was pitted against Ryan Palmer. Palmer is ranked 23rd in the World and was expected to beat Lahiri in this match play format. Anirban Lahiri however surprised everyone and never trailed in the match.
Anirban took an early lead in the first hole with a five-foot birdie while a second birdie on the fourth helped him to stay 2-up against Palmer. Palmer started showing signs of a comeback with birdies in the fifth and eighth holes and drew level. Lahiri, however, took the lead back in the ninth hole with his third birdie of the day.
Lahiri once again steered the game in his favor in the tenth hole when he for a second time earned a two holes advantage. It became a three shot lead soon enough and with five holes to play, it was Ryan Palmer who had to do all the running.
After both players made par on the 15th hole, Palmer missed his birdie putt on the next hole thereby handing Lahiri a victory.
“I played really solid and didn’t make too many mistakes and made a few putts. I was fairly happy. Ryan had a good chance to get back into the match on 14. That’s the turning point for me – chipped it in from the rough over the green to keep it 3 up. That was very important,” Lahiri said.
Lahiri will now face World Number 6 Justin Rose in the tournament. It will be interesting to see how Anirban fares against a leading golfer, and judging by his performances this year, Rose better be well prepared!