Incheon (South Korea): It has been an amazing year for Anirban Lahiri, playing with the big boys at the biggest events. But if there is anything that he would like change, it will be his last 10 seconds on the Jack Nicklaus Golf and Country Club on his Presidents Cup debut.
Anirban Lahiri reacts after missing the putt on the 18th hole
Trying to erase a memory that wouldn't go away, Lahiri, said, "I am gutted. If there is anything I would like, it would be to rewind and just change the last ten seconds of it. No, I think it wasn't meant to be. I can't feel too bad because I didn't hit a bad putt; didn't go in. Hopefully I get a chance to redeem myself in years to come."
Lahiri was speaking of the three-foot putt he missed on the 18th, one that may have given the Internationals one half of the Presidents Cup, they last got to share in 2003.
Asked, how he was going to cope with the disappointment, he said, "Going to be able to pick yourself up from this straightaway? I don't have much choice, do I? I'm heading to Macau tomorrow. This is certainly not how I would've wanted to have my first Presidents Cup play out. I do feel terrible right now obviously. It's going to be hard for me to sleep tonight. I'm sure the rest of the team is going to help me out with that with the evening's festivities."
Earlier, Lahiri had done well to come back from two holes down to all square by winning the 12th and 14th, and then the two trudged side by side even till the 18th tee. Lahiri hit a beauty on his third shot to within three feet, while his opponent Chris Kirk put the ball 15 feet from the Cup.
Kirk holed the massive 15-foot pressure putt and Lahiri's putt took a big part of the lip and came out. That gave the American a full point instead of a half. In retrospect that may have been the winning half point for US.
And yes, there was another half point that could still have given the Internationals a share of the Cup. But again on 18th, Sangmoon Bae, who goes for Military Service after this event, hit too cute a third shot on 18th and it rolled back onto the fairway, leaving Bill Haas, a pick by his father and captain, Jay Haas, victor by 2-Up. A win for Bae on the hole would have halved the match.
Lahiri, winner of the Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open this year, was ever the gentleman. He quickly composed himself, and added, "I have to give credit to Chris as well. The team (Internationals) played great. Obviously I'm disappointed with my week. That's how the cookie crumbles."
While Anirban was understandably harsh on himself, his captain Nick Price said, "Anirban and Moon (Bae), you know, they were in very difficult predicaments today, which I don't think they have ever felt before. But it's all part of the experience. Today is a day they will never forget, but I hope that they use it in a positive way."
Price went on, "I said to Anirban, you know, he may never have a putt that he'll be that nervous over, but he hit a great putt. It was just a little unlucky it didn't go in. Probably 95 times out of 100, that putt would have gone in. But that's what makes this event so special."