Lahiri miss leaves presidents door open for USA
Published 12/10/2015 | 02:30
Anirban Lahiri was seconds away from being the star in a dream debut at the Presidents Cup.
His birdie putt inside four feet rammed off the right side of the cup and spun out. His putter tumbled out of his hand and over his back. He stood on the 18th green with his hands clasped together, the tips of his fingers covering his mouth.
"I would like to rewind and just change the last 10 seconds of it," said Lahiri.
It wasn't all on Lahiri, the 28-year-old who made history in these matches as the first player from India. The Presidents Cup would have then ended in a tie the way it played out with Bill Haas winning the final match for a 15.5-14.5 win for the USA.
At that moment, rarely has such a competition seen such a swift turnaround.
The Presidents Cup was tied, and with the status of other matches on the course, a point from Lahiri looked as though it would be the winner for the International team. Lahiri was all square with Chris Kirk, both players short of the green on the par-5 18th and facing tough chips.
Lahiri played his to near perfection, up the slope and rolling to 4 feet away. Kirk had a steeper slope and, wanted to at least make sure he had a putt, he chipped in 15 feet long and faced a tough downhill putt.
Kirk's putt dropped on the final turn. Lahiri quickly settled over his putt ... and missed.
Lahiri is not the first player to be exposed for a miss on a big stage. The most famous missed putt in a Ryder Cup was by Bernhard Langer in 1991 at Kiawah Island. Lahiri's captain, Nick Price, missed a short putt to lose a critical match at the Presidents Cup in 2003 and snapped the putter over his knee.
Hunter Mahan muffed a chip short of the green to end his last chance in Wales at the 2010 Ryder Cup. The Cup will revert to US soil in two years' time at Liberty National in New Jersey before returning to Melbourne for a third time in 2019.