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Lahiri steps up learning curve with closing 72 at The Open

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India’s Anirban Lahiri knows he will return as a more accomplished player after he signed off at the world’s oldest Major with an even-par 72 on Monday. The current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, who was playing at the Old Course in St Andrews for the first time this week, believes it was his inexperience that cost him dearly after he closed with a four-day total of six-under-par 282.

“I can’t say I played well because I dropped too many shots over the last two days which is disappointing. I hit into the bunker so many times this week and that it cost me a shot every time.

“When you hit into these traps and get bitten, you realise how far you have to hit to stay away from them. But it has been a great learning experience and you learn from them especially when you play on the course for the first time,” said Lahiri.

Starting his round six shots off the lead, Lahiri was determined for a quick charge from the opening tee.

However, the scripts did not go according to plan when he suffered an early setback with an opening bogey.

Playing together with former Open champion Paul Lawrie of Scotland, Lahiri then fought back gallantly with four birdies on holes four, five, seven and nine for an outward 33.

However, a woeful back-nine where he dropped four shots in his last six holes marred his card and undid all his good work in his outward-nine.

“I played with Paul Lawrie today and he’s a past champion. He’s so comfortable on the greens and it took him just five seconds to know where his putts were breaking.

“For me, I was still trying to figure it out. So, that speaks volume of what experience does and it showed in me today,” said Lahiri.

Lahiri, who will turn his attention to the Omega European Masters that is co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour in Switzerland later this week, continues to remain upbeat of making his impression on the international stage one day.

“It’s good that I’m playing these sort of events and on such courses. I can only get better as I progress,” said Lahiri.