Lahiri excited ahead of Open challenge

Having endured a tough start to the year, Anirban Lahiri is looking forward to the challenge posed by a links course at this week’s Open Championship.

The Indian ace has struggled to shine during his first season on the PGA Tour, with a tie for sixth at the Dean & DeLuca Invitational his lone top-10 finish thus far.

The 29-year-old believes that this in part due to his unfamiliarity with parkland courses, with the links courses that frequent the European Tour and Asian Tour much more to his liking. And it’s a testing links course that he will encounter at Royal Troon this week – but he couldn’t be happier.

“I prefer playing links courses to parkland courses probably because we don’t play enough of it and also because you have to be more creative as it’s less sterile. You have to control your ball flight, up and down and sideways and you have to have a lot more feel,” Lahiri told 7Days Sport.

“We play most of the times in benign conditions and greens are soft and we are throwing darts and it’s more of a putting competition (in the US). Out here, it tests every department of your game and that’s what makes links golf very special.

“The best think about links golf is that it’s not about the power game. I’ve played some of my best golf over the last few years on courses where it’s strategy and precision over power. Even my best finish in America this year at the Colonial was on one of the shortest and tightest courses, something like the Delhi Golf Club. It adds to the comfort level.”

While the world number 62’s best finish at a major was a tie for fifth at last year’s PGA Championship, he has had two memorable appearances at The Open, notching up a hole-in-one on his debut at Royal Lytham in 2012 and finishing tied 30th at St Andrews last year.

“The Open has always been good to me, so I’m hoping for a good run,” said Lahiri.

“I’m feeling positive about my game and the golf course sets up for me. I like the way the holes shape away and it’s something that suits my eye.”

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