(Reuters) - Preparing for marriage can be both a meticulous and arduous process but for newlywed golfer Anirban Lahiri it is a case of “get me to the course on time” after his honeymoon was cut short by a late invite to the British Open.
The Indian world number 85 curtailed his post-nuptial holidays in Madagascar after two days upon learning he was one of 10 golfers to secure places for the July 17-20 major at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake as the highest ranked non-exempt players.
“I want to play next week in a relaxed approach as life has been hectic with the wedding (in late May) and there’s been a lot of things in the head like getting the visas, accommodation and airline bookings done,” Lahiri told the Asian Tour.
“I am trying to get it all out of the head now and focus on playing my best. I’ve been practising hard over the last three days which is good... just trying to get back into the groove,” he added.
“It was a great surprise that I’ve got into my second Open next week.”
Lahiri admitted that he had no idea he was in the frame to make a return to the Open two years after his first appearance until he received news of the invite.
“I thought the qualifying cut off was sometime in May and when I checked the Open website, they only had the regular categories available and I assumed I had missed the chance as I wasn’t in the field for any of the qualifying events,” he added.
“That was why I had scheduled to get some time off. My wife has taken it well although her honeymoon is truncated but she understands the situation, being the wife of a professional golfer.
“She’s been very supportive and I promised to take her back to Madagascar.”
Lahiri leads the circuit’s order of merit after winning the Indonesian Masters and recording four other top-10 finishes, and also made a handsome contribution to Asia’s come-from-behind draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in March.
The Bangalore golfer debuted at The Open in 2012 when he finished in a respectable tie for 31st at Royal Lytham and St Annes, his performance highlighted by a magical hole-in-one during the third round.
“In the two years since my first appearance, I believe I have progressed as a player and I feel I am going back to the Open as a more rounded player than the last time,” Lahiri said, explaining how he planned to modify his game for links golf.
“We’ve been working on reducing the spin rate on the ball and hitting low shots. I’m trying to get the rhythm and tempo going again and also working on the mental aspect.”
Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien