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Tuesday, Jan 22nd

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23-year old Anirban Lahiri wins thrilling Panasonic Open after three-way playoff

anirban_lahiri_wins_panasonic_openIndian golf star Anirban Lahiri defeated Singapore's Mardan Mamat and fellow countryman Manav Jaini in a thrilling three-way play-off to secure his maiden title at the inaugural Panasonic Open (India), at the newest·US$300,000 event on the Asian Tour. The threesome had ended regulation play on a 13-under-par total of 275 on Saturday. Lahiri, secured his win with a birdie on the 18th play-off while Mardan and Jaini only managed to make pars.

The 23-year-old Indian was clearly delighted with his career breakthrough on the Asian Tour as he never had a good record at the Delhi Golf Club and was always receiving jokes about his inability to win at the venerable golf club.

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McIlroy clings to the lead; Tiger Roars back to life at the Masters

rory_mcilroyA threesome that comprised Rory McIlroy (aged 21), Rickie Fowler (22) and Masters Rookie Jason Day (23) charmed their way into the galleries around the Augusta National Golf Club as they showcased the emergence of a youthful new generation. Day ended with the best round ever for a rookie when he birdied the 18th to finish with an impressive 64 that left him two shots off the leader McIlroy (-10), who became the youngest since Tiger in 1997 to hold the 36 hole lead at the Masters.

The master himself roared back to life with a series of birdies to lay in wait for a promising weekend, his prey clearly in sight after scoring 66 to get within three strokes off the Irishman. As the weekend turns into sharp focus Woods will pair with K J Choi as they try to arrest the exuberance of McIlroy and Day, who own the honour of being the final pairing to tee off on Saturday.

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McIlroy and Quiros Steal the Show on the first day of the Masters; Atwal disappoints

rory_mcilroyAn inspired Spaniard and a youthful Irishman stole the show on the first day of the 75th Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club. Rory McIlroy made the most of a benign day at one of the most revered courses on the tour, playing out a blemish less bogey free gem that contained seven birdies to leave him holding the clubhouse lead for much of the first day with a 65. Not until the fag end of a long day's golf was the number challenged, as the hard hitting Alvaro Quiros birdied the 18th hole to grab a share of the lead with the final putt of the day. The defending champion Phil Mickelson had a miserable time with the driver, but his short game saved his day as he stayed in the hunt with a 2 under 70. Tiger Woods is a further stroke behind, while Indian Arjun Atwal slipped near the bottom of the board with an unimpressive 8 over 80 on his Masters debut.

McIlroy will not need a reminder of what happened at the Open last year when he followed up a 63 with an 80 in the second round that set him back. But after finishing thrice in the top three of majors, the 21-year old is a far more experienced golfer than his age would suggest. When his tee shot landed in the bunker on the par 4 first hole, McIlroy showed no haste as he got it out just short of the green before chipping to within a couple of feet of the pin to ensure that he saved par. It was a sedate beginning to what would turn out to be a glorious day for the rising star.

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Arjun Atwal all set to make Masters Debut, turns to Tiger Woods for advice

Arjun Atwal of India makes his Masters Tournament debut at Augusta National Golf Club this month and is looking to make his first visit to the hallowed greens a memorable one. Atwal is the former Asian tour number one and only the second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh, to compete here. To help him in his mission Atwal is counting on tips from Tiger Woods and the experience of winning on four international Tours.

“I have been fortunate to win on the Asian, European, Nationwide and PGA Tours.  Winning at all of those levels have allowed me to know that I can compete with the best players in the world at any tournament,” said Atwal.

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Anirban Lahiri coasts to two-stroke win at Panchkula, Mukesh Kumar finishes runner-up

anirban_lahiri3Anirban Lahiri won the Aircel PGTI Players Championship presented by Panchkula Golf Club by two strokes after he came up with a five under 67 on Saturday. Lahiri ended the week with a total of 14 under 274. Mukesh Kumar, who fired a 68 in round four, finished runner-up at 12 under 276.

Anirban Lahiri (72-65-70-67) claimed his seventh victory on the Aircel PGTI thanks to a solid 67 in the fourth round. Anirban had a few hiccups at the start of the round as he bogeyed the third and fourth. He then came back strongly with eight birdies on the next 11 holes to close the door on his nearest challengers Mukesh Kumar and Rashid Khan.

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Kiradech final hole birdie denies Siddikur SAIL Open crown, Young Indians impress on Final Day

21-year old Thai golf sensation Kiradech Aphibarnrat birdied the last hole to win his maiden Asian Tour title at the SAIL Open on Friday. Kiradech returned with four-under-par 68 for a four-day total of 16-under-par 272 to defeat Siddikur of Bangladesh by one stroke at the Delhi Golf Club.

India's Ajeetesh Sandhu battled tooth-and-nail before dropping a shot on the 16thhole. He finished in third place on a 274 total while compatriot Manav Jaini finished one stroke back at the US$300,000 event co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and PGTI.

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Prom Meesawat, Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Lam Chih Bing and Jason Knutzon earn berths at The Open Championship

Thailand's Prom Meesawat earned his maiden appearance at The Open Championship after winning the International Final Qualifying Asia on Friday. Prom, a one-time Asian Tour winner, fired a superb second round seven-under-par 65 for a two-day aggregate of 12-under-par 132 to lead Japanese veteran Tetsuji Hiratsuka, Singapore's Lam Chih Bing and American Jason Knutzon into The Open at Royal St George's in July.

Hiratsuka, whose three victories in Asia last season included two titles in Thailand, earned his second trip to the Open with the day's best of 64 at Amata Spring Country Club while Lam secured his third appearance with a bogey-free 67.

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Shiv Kapur, Ichihara & Siddikur in contention for Open Championship Qualifying berth

Japan's Kodai Ichihara enjoyed a hot putting day as he charged into the first round lead at The Open Championship International Final Qualifying – Asia with a seven-under-par 65 on Thursday. Chasing a first trip to The Open, the Asian Tour regular wielded his broomhandle putter like a magic wand for an outward 31 before coming home with two more birdies for an unblemished card at Amata Spring Country Club.

India's Shiv Kapur lived up to the saying “Beware the Sick Golfer” as he overcame a stomach bug to shoot a 66 for tied second place with Bangladeshi sensation Siddikur and Korea's Lee Sung, a deaf-born golfer who started having the ability to hear after having an implant surgically placed in his right ear last November.

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Prayad Marksaeng and Thaworn Wiratchant target success in Open Championship Qualifying

Thai hero Prayad Marksaeng plans to snap up one of four tickets at stake in the two-day Open Championship International Final Qualifying – Asia starting at Amata Spring Country Club tomorrow.

The six-time Asian Tour winner has a mission to accomplish as three previous visits to the world's oldest Major ended in disappointment but with the IFQ – Asia held in Thailand for the first time, Prayad knows he has a strong chance to set his record right by qualifying for a fourth appearance.

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