Anirban Lahiri was in full flow as he drove the longest on the 9th hole, played the bunker shot closest to the flag and then sent the crowd and his own team into wild celebrations by a holing a 90-foot putt as India outplayed the Rest of the World Team 3-1 in the Skills and 4-2 on points at the exciting Hero Skills Challenge on the eve of the Hero Indian Open 2017.
Each ‘Skill’ earned the winning team US $ 2,500 and the prizes were given way by Mr. Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director and CEO of Hero MotoCorp.
“It was a great fun. I wish I can replicate that in the coming week,” said a beaming Lahiri, who before his monstrous putt was reminded by the rival captain Daniel Chopra, that he had holed out a similar long putt last year. Seconds later Lahiri repeated that this year, much to the joy of his teammates.
The Indians won the first three Skills, where Lahiri dominated the proceedings, though Chawrasia in the long putt and Kapur with his bunker shot and Chikka with his drive also impressed.
The only ‘Skill’ won by the RoW team was ‘Accuracy’ as Rafa Cabrera Bello and Nicolas Colsaerts hit the Hero bike stationed in the middle of the lake next to the ninth green. From the Indian side, only S Chikkarangappa found the target and the visitors won 2-1 to make the score 4-2 for India.
The Indian quartet comprised 2015 Hero Indian Open champion, Lahiri, defending champion SSP Chawrasia, Shiv Kapur and S Chikkarangappa and they had Jeev Milkha Singh as the non-playing captain.
The Rest of the World Team squad comprised Rafa Cabrera Bello, Kiradech Aphinbarnrat, Nicolas Colsaerts and George Coetzee with Daniel Chopra as the non-playing captain.