Lahiri paired with Coetzee and Rafa at St Andrews
In what has been a year of discovery for Anirban Lahiri, the 28-year-old Indian, still the highest ranked Indian golfer in the world despite slipping out of Top-50 in the world, arrives at the 'Home of Golf' for his third Major of the season
St Andrews (Scotland): In what has been a year of discovery for Anirban Lahiri, the 28-year-old Indian, still the highest ranked Indian golfer in the world despite slipping out of Top-50 in the world, arrives at the 'Home of Golf' for his third Major of the season.
Lahiri winner of the Hero Indian Open and Malaysian Open, has been paired alongside another double winner in 2015, South African George Coetzee (Tshwane Open and Mauritius Open) and Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, who has been in top-5 in three of the last six and been in Top-15 of two others.
"It's a great pairing, both George Coetzee and Rafa are from European Tour and I have seen them around and they are excellent players. George has already won twice and South Africans do well at Majors and Rafa has been in superb form and was in Top-5 at Irish Open and French Open and was second at Lyoness. So they are in great form," said Lahiri.
On being at St Andrews, he added,"I have never been to St Andrews or played there before. So, it is quite a dream come true to be here at the historic course for the Open itself. As kids, all of us wanted to play at Augusta and St Andrews. I did Augusta earlier and now this, so its been a great year. Now I need to make it count."
Meanwhile, on Monday as the draw was announced, Jordan Spieth aiming for the third leg of an unprecedented Grand Slam of Golf, has been paired with paired Dustin Johnson, who he beat in a close finish at US Open.
The third player is the young Japanese, Hideki Matsuyama, who is seen as a very strong emerging player, who has already won PGA Tour.
At Chambers Bay in US Open, Johnson had a 12-foot putt on the 72nd hole to win the title, but his eagle putt slid four feet past the hole and then he missed the birdie putt to force a play-off and Spieth walked off with his second Major of the year.
Tiger Woods and Louis Ooosthuizen, who between them have won the last three Opens at St. Andrews are drawn together with Australia's Jason Day, whose gutsy display at US open despite having an attack of vertigo earned many more new fans.
Oosthuizen has been in good nick as he recovered from an opening 77 in the US Open, while playing partners Woods and Rickie Fowler shot 80 and 81 respectively, to charge over the last three days to finished joint second with Johnson.
Five-time champion Tom Watson gets his final British Open appearance under way alongside 2012 winner Ernie Els and American Brandt Snedeker. The R&A granted the 65-year-old Watson a special exemption.
Nick Faldo, who had also previously said this British Open would be his last but may now play at Troon next year, is alongside Justin Rose and Scottish Open winner Fowler at 2:45, immediately after the group containing Matt Kuchar, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson.