Let the debate rage whether The Masters or Open Championship is the greatest Major. For us in India, the week of the PGA Championship is equally endearing, given the fond memories it has given a nation starved of glory in Major Championships.
So, let’s celebrate this week at the Ocean Course in Kiawah Island by going back in time. It all started in 2008 when Jeev Milkha Singh proved that Indians could hold their own on one of Golf’s biggest stages. Tied for the lead after the opening day at the Oakland Hills CC, Jeev finished T9 for what was then the best finish for a countryman. His score read 285 (68, 74, 70, 73).
The next big moment awaited us when Anirban Lahiri teed off at Whistling Straits seven years after Jeev had shown the way. Playing some of his best golf, Anirban stepped on the accelerator after a quiet start to finish T5 and record a first for Indian Golf.
We reached out to Anirban at his home in Palm Beach, Florida, for the most endearing moments on and off the Golf course, and this is what he had to say.
“If it’s about a golf shot, it happened late on Sunday evening on the 17th hole. A long par-3 and I was in between a 3&4 iron. With the wind blowing towards the water on the left, I thought I had hit a perfect shot. But the ball took a hop and I was left with an impossible chip. It was a clutch shot and I managed to place the ball within two feet. Matt Kuchar, who was waiting by the fringe, clapped.”
The bogey on the 18th made the difference between a top-3 and eventual T5 with a final score of 275 (70, 67, 70, 68), but it is a record is waiting to be broken.
There was little time to celebrate as there was a flight to catch. The 4-hour drive from Wisconsin to Chicago with friend Dheeraj Sareen, who had walked the course that week, is one of the best Anirban has undertaken.
“All through we kept calling family and friends and allowed the moment to sink in.”
Even if it did, the reception on arrival in Delhi ensured that moment has been captured for posterity.
Content Courtesy: thegolfinghub