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July 22, 2012

Anirban Lahiri


ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  Yeah, I mean, the effort was there last year, as well.  I don't think I need to be told that I need to move westward.  I think that's something that has occurred to me over the last 12, 18 months in my game that I feel like I can come out here and play here, whether it's Europe or America.  I've played with three different PGA Tour players over the last four days, and the same thing that Arjun tells us when he meets us is there's no difference.  If you can shoot 5‑ or 6‑ or 8‑under in India or Asia, you can shoot it in America.  Ultimately you still have to take 60 whatever many shots.
I think that's the attitude that I need to come this side with, and that'll help me.

Q.  How was the experience of playing with the PGA Tour guys?
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  It was great.  They are really friendly.  I think Americans, whatever little exposure I've had with them, are very friendly by nature.  They're not as‑‑ maybe not as stiff on the course, not so‑‑ they don't keep to themselves so much.  They're not as reserved as the Europeans.  They like to talk and they like to chat.
Today I played with Nick Watney, who's obviously a great player, has been in the top 10 in the world, and it's fantastic to have a nice chat with him and just understand that it's just golf.  You've just got to go there and you've got to play golf.  At the end of the day you're not playing against computers, although they do play like they're playing video games sometimes.
But I think there's a lot of confidence now for me to come out here, and not just here, even in Asia when I play European Tour events now, I'm not going to be intimidated anymore, I think.  I think if I can come here and hold my ground, I can hold it with any event looking into the future.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  Well, when I came in May, it was dry.  The course was faster and it was definitely more windy.  So in that sense, there was a lot that I learnt when I came here in May, and there's a lot of specific work that my coach and me, we did over the last 45 days.
The first three or four days of the week didn't demand any of those shots because it was wet, and you had to hit it through the earth, you weren't getting so much pitch off the ground.  I think today and yesterday a lot of those shots came into use, just putting it back in your stance and taking spin off the ball, hitting it at 70 percent, 80 percent, just keeping it in play.  All that did come in handy.
Yeah, I'm glad that I came here.  I think that was a very smart decision that I made.  Instead of getting here 10 days, 20 days before The Open and tiring myself out, I think I did a smart move by coming earlier.  And I knew what I was up against so I could prepare for it, and I'm happy that it's worked out really well.

Q.  How was the walk up the 18th?
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  It was special because I hit a bad drive yesterday on 18, and today I got up to the 18 tee and I said, you know what, just give me the driver, I'll just blast it as far as I can blast it, I'll fly all these traps today.  That pretty much reflects how I was feeling on the golf course the whole week.  I was just telling my caddie walking up 18 that I'm not scared anymore.  I used to be when I was playing such events four years back, three years back, but I'm not scared anymore.
And I think that is a major point in my career.  I think every pro reaches that point.  If you are an American who grows up playing, then probably you don't have that point because that's where you start, but for us where we come from, the Indian Tour and then you get to the Asian Tour and then you play with the Europeans and the Americans, it is intimidating because you put them on a pedestal, you make mountains out of them because they play so well, you watch them on TV and they're superstars, all of them.  When you play with them and you rub shoulders and you beat most of them, you tell yourself that they're human just like you.  You make mistakes, they make mistakes, you make putts, they make putts.  You can do it, is basically what comes out of it.
I think that's my biggest‑‑ the biggest plus out of this whole week.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  I don't know how far it went, but I had 110 yards to the flag.  Perfect yardage with my 53‑degree wedge.  I hit a great shot about, what, eight, ten feet short of the flag, straight at it.  Unfortunately it lipped out.  I mean, I thought I hit a good putt, but that's okay.  I mean, for everything‑‑ for all the balls that have gone into the hole this week, I think I'll take a lip‑out on the last.  I can't really complain.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  I think it's going to be more with family and friends when I get back home.  I'm flying back to Jodhpur tomorrow, going back home to my parents' place after eight months.  I think last time I was there was December.  So I think a bunch of friends, my mom is there, she's really excited.  We've been Skyping every evening.  It's going to be more special, I think, when I go back home.

Q.  Where are you spending most of your time?
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  I'm fully based completely full‑time over in Bangalore.  I live by myself.  My mom is in Jodhpur, my dad is still serving.  He's posted in Gujarat right now.  But my mom comes down most of the time.  If I have two, three weeks off she'll come down and spend ten days with me.  It's perfect.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  I think one made a difference, either one level or one step I need to take is I need to improve the ball flight on my irons.  I need to have more flexibility in my control of the movement sideways, both ways.  I'm still not very happy with how I hit my irons this week.  I think how I kept it in play, at least for the first three days, I should have been under par.  But I can't really complain.  I putted great.  My putting has improved, and yeah, my iron play is probably one thing I need to improve.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  That's a very special thing, coming from Jeev.  He's always been one of my idols ever since I was a kid.  It makes me feel happy and it makes me‑‑ it inspires me to work harder still and to prove him right.  I think that would be the true test of the pudding.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
ANIRBAN LAHIRI:  I would have liked to have made that putt on the last, but it's okay, I'll take it.

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