India’s Anirban Lahiri made it into the weekend rounds of The Open after battling typical Scottish weather for a one-over-par 72 in the second round on Friday.
The reigning Asian Tour number one traded two birdies against three bogeys at historic Royal Troon, which was greeted by rain, cold temperature and winds following a glorious opening day under sunshine and blue skies.
Lahiri, who has made the cut three times from four appearances at the oldest Major, said: “I managed to control the damage as I didn’t play too good. The idea was to get off to a good start but it wasn’t to be.
“A couple of judgement errors as it was new conditions. It was very different the way we have been playing the front nine all week so I think that kind of didn’t work in my favour. I’m glad I hung in there, although I did feel like I could have made a few more putts. A little disappointed but it could have been worse.”
After a bogey on four, the 29-year-old, who played alongside Keegan Bradley and Sergio Garcia, birdied the famous par three eighth hole nicknamed Postage Stamp with a 10-foot conversion. He dropped two more shots on nine and 10 when conditions turned before salvaging his card with a birdie on 16.
“The hardest holes are around the turn. Our group played seven, eight, nine and 10 in the wind and rain and that’s when conditions are the hardest. It’s hard to judge exactly how far it’s going to go,” he said.
Lahiri is hopeful of posting under-par rounds over the weekend in his bid to improve on his best Open finish of tied 30th achieved at St Andrews last season and equal or better a top-five outing at the PGA Championship last year.
“I’ll be hoping to post two scores in the red. That should be pretty gettable for me, if it’s deep enough in the red, then maybe I can give myself a chance on Sunday,” he said.
Lahiri found comfort that he was now getting used to playing on the Major stage.
“This year, I’ve been the least nervous. It’s also my fourth Open and it’s nice to get more comfortable starting in weeks like this, knowing what is achievable from what I’ve done from Majors of the past. I feel like I play my best golf when I focus really hard during the Majors. Hopefully the last two days are evidence of that,” he said.
The birdie on eight was particularly satisfying for Lahiri.
“As hard as that hole played yesterday, it’s going to be one of the holes you might see a few more birdies today, just because of how the winds are today. I hit a good shot and finally made a 10-footer. It’s been a grind on the greens for me. I don’t think I putted too badly but just burnt a lot of lips,” he said.