St Andrews (Scotland): Anirban Lahiri played brilliantly over the first 12 holes, before dropping three shots in a course of five shots between 13th and 17th and finished one-under 71 that saw him take a sharp slide from T-14 after 36 holes to T-27 after 54 at the 144th Open Championships.
Anirban Lahiri reacts after making his birdie putt on the first green during third round on Day Four of the British Open yesterday. Pic/AFP
Jordan Spieth brought the reality of an historic third straight major title closer as he moved into the joint lead on ten under at the Open Championship with overnight leader Dustin Johnson and South African Charl Schwartzel.
Amateur Paul Dunne, South African Louis Oosthuizen and Australian Jason Day share the lead at 12-under with Masters and US Open champion one shot behind. Overnight leader Johnson was still at 10-under and had three holes to play.
Lahiri, who was bogey-free from the 17th on the first day to the 13th on the third day — for a stretch of 31 holes — is now six-under for the tournament and is six shots behind the leaders, Jason Day (who has two holes to go) and amateur Paul Dunne, who had one more hole to go.
Lahiri opened with a flourish with birdies on first and third and added a third on ninth as he turned in a brilliant three-under at the Old Course, which he is playing for the first time.
He began the back nine fine with a birdie on the par-3 11th and bogeyed the 13th after missing the second putt, which was a mere two-footer. "I hit the ball well to about 25-30-footer for a realistic birdie on 13th and then three-putted," added Lahiri.
The disappointment carried onto the next hole and he bogeyed the 14th, too. On the 17th, he missed a four-footer for par and gave away his bogey.
Lahiri said: "I played well. I just missed one green and I needed 35 putts. That's not a good sign. I three-putted on fifth (got a par), then 13th and 17th, where I had bogeys."
On the putts, he added: "I had nine putts on the last four holes. As I said I hit the ball well. I hit to 12 feet on 15th, to 15 feet on 16th and then 30 feet on 17th and again on 18th I hit to 20 feet." The birdie putts did not fall and the three-putt on 17th added to the woes.