Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee endured a disappointing 5 & 4 Foursome Match defeat to Rickie Fowler and Jimmy Walker in their Presidents Cup debut as the United States romped to a commanding 4-1 lead after the opening day in Incheon (South Korea) on Thursday. (Click here for latest Golf stories)
With Fowler rolling in three birdies in the opening four holes to go 3-up early on at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea, Lahiri and Thongchai found themselves on the back foot for much of their match which reflected how the day went for the Internationals.
“No, no, no, I think both Thongchai and I were nowhere close to our best. We both struggled, and I think we just lost momentum. There were opportunities that I could have made a few more putts definitely, and then I think on the back nine we just let it all get away from us really quick,” said Lahiri, the current Asian Tour number one.
“He (Fowler) putted great all day. If I’m not mistaken, he must have made about six or seven one-putts, and none of them were inside of 10 feet. It helps when you’re playing match play.”
A disappointed Thongchai added: “We played okay, but the guys, Rickie especially, putted so well. He holed out from everywhere. We had a lot of mistakes with the putter, not in form.”
Lahiri did not offer excuses for his disappointing debut in the biennial contest. “When you play badly, you want to assume as much responsibility for it. I’m sure Thongchai feels the same way. It’s one of those days,” he said.
“The first hole, we had an opportunity (to win) but didn’t take it. Second, I didn’t make it and third we went from a position of strength and suddenly we found ourselves three down through four.
“Yeah, I think I let one get away from me on seven, the par-five. That was an important putt because we could have gotten some momentum back. But, yeah, very disappointed to finish the way we did.
“We didn’t make a single birdie in 14 holes, and we hit 13 fairways. I mean, we only missed one fairway on 10 and did not make a birdie. So that tells you that we didn’t putt well, and that’s what you need.”
Lahiri will lead the cheering squad on Friday after Captain Nick Price opted to rest him from Friday’s Fourball session. The Indian believes the Presidents Cup, which has been dominated by the US who has won eight of 10 editions, is far from over.
“It’s a long ways to go. It’s not an ideal start. You don’t want to find yourself chasing, but now that we are in that position, we’re going to chase it down,” he said.
Lahiri, first Indian to play Presidents Cup
On Wednesday night, Lahiri, the first Indian to play in the Presidents Cup, stood proudly alongside his teammates and the US Team, and enjoyed the pleasure of hearing his national anthem being played during the opening ceremony.
“It was very special. Extremely special. There’s not a lot of times in your career that it will happen, and the times that it does happen it really makes you feel like all the effort, everything that you’ve put into it – not just you but your family, your team, your coach, your physio, your trainer, anyone and everyone that’s contributed to your effort in any way, it makes all of that worth it. That is what you’re putting yourself out there for and nothing compares to that,” he said.
(With inputs from the Asian Tour)