Lytham St Annes: Anirban Lahiri will be counting on his meditation practice to lead him to a successful debut at The Open Championship which begins on Thursday.
The 25-year-old two-time Asian Tour winner is excited at the prospects of tackling the world’s oldest Major which is star-laden at Royal Lytham and St Annes but knows he must maintain an even keel to ensure a rewarding week.
“I’ll stick to my meditation and stay in the moment and not get carried away and focus on what I need to do. It’ll play a critical role. Times of great highs and low, the mind gets muddled and unclear. I have to rely on meditation as it’ll only do me good,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri has been meditating for the past few years, saying the longest he has done was three hours while he spends about 20 minutes each day while he is at a tournament. The key benefit of the practice is simply staying in the present, he said.
“The benefit that I have derived from my meditation is that I’m able to stay in the present. That’s what everyone talks about, hit one shot at a time and we all wonder how to do it. The meditation has taught me to block out the scoreboard, what the group in front is doing or how far back or ahead I am. All those things kind of get sidetracked and the focus comes back to what I need to do. That’s what meditation helps me to do,” he explained.
“It’s like a process, like an exercise. You can be in that state during the round depending on how strong your practices are. If you can put yourself in that state, you can go through 18 holes in your own world without being affected by what’s around you. That’s what really helps.”
Lahiri arrived in the English coastal town on Saturday and has put in three practice rounds at the famous links. While others may have cringed when the rain and winds swept in earlier in the week, the Indian relished the tough conditions which are synonymous with The Open.
“I’m enjoying the weather so far. A lot of people here whom I’ve met are not comfortable in this condition but I’m feeling at home. I expected the course as tough as it’s been set up. Leading into the event, I’m feeling good,” said Lahiri, who is one of two Indians in the field aside from newly crowned Scottish Open champion Jeev Milkha Singh.
“I’m hitting it good. I’m happy with my equipment set up, I’m feeling very comfortable.”
In late May, the amiable India made a visit to Royal Lytham and St Annes and played for several practice rounds. However, he said being here during The Open week was simply magical.
“The atmosphere is beautiful, the people come out here despite the rain and cold and you see families out with their kids in strollers. It’s a pleasure to be here and be part of a beautiful event. I’m hoping I can put in a good performance to make it better,” he said.
Lahiri is happy his father has accompanied him for his maiden Major. “Dad’s always been the guy behind the scenes. He’s the one to give me some insight into how I’m playing. He’ll provide the perspective of a third party. If he notices something, he will share with me and ask me to think about it. Sometimes that’s what it takes to save a shot or two or to get your attitude right.
“I’m glad he’s here. I know he’s having a great time and it makes me happy as well. He’s taking good care of me. He’s always full of wise words.”
Indian Sports News Network