India’s Anirban Lahiri aced the par-3 ninth hole at Royal Lytham on Saturday in the third round of the British Open, stunning himself in his major championship debut with the shot of his life. “Just when I thought that it was fantastic, it gets even better,” Lahiri said. “That’s probably the icing on the cake.” Lahiri, a 25-year-old from Bangalore, joined Jeev Milkha Singh, who made the field by winning last week’s Scottish Open, as the first India duo to make the cut at a major.
“It takes the cake. It’s a hallowed event for us,” Lahiri said. “You want to put up a good performance for yourself, for your country, and so far I think I’ve done justice to that and I’m really happy about that.”
Lahiri fired a two-under par 68 in Thursday’s opening round and followed with a 72 on Friday and a 70 to stand at level par 210 after 54 holes. After back-to-back bogeys on Saturday at the third and fourth, Lahiri birdied the eighth and then holed his tee shot at the links course’s shortest hole, the 165-yard ninth.
“I walked up to that tee just having made birdie, which was very important to me. I walked up the tee and I was in between clubs again,” Lahiri said. “Yesterday I hit the wedge instead of a 9-iron, and found a greenside trap and made bogey. I just told my caddie, ‘We’ll take the 9, it doesn’t matter if it goes past, I’ll just hit it soft.’ Made a good swing on it. It was looking a little right of the hole, but it got a really, really friendly bounce. I was hoping it ended up close. When it goes in, everybody goes wild. I go wild. It was fantastic.”
Adam Scott leads
Adam Scott took the lead in the third round as Brandt Snedeker finally proved fallible with his putter. American Snedeker started the day on 10-under par following rounds of 66 and 64 that equalled the lowest first 36 holes in Open and major championship history. Scott, from Australia, was one shot back after rounds of 64 and 67. Next best was Tiger Woods, who was four shots off the pace. Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington finished their third rounds early on Saturday.