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Anirban Lahiri and Udayan Mane represent a promising future for Indian Golf

Golf needs an Indian face to it and both Anirban and Udayan have set the ball rolling for the years to come

Anirban and Udayan (source- indianexpress)
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Anirban and Udayan (source- indianexpress)

By

C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 2021-08-01T16:24:14+05:30

One would be surprised to know that there are 4 Indian golfers set to take part at this year's Tokyo Olympics. It appeared there would only be half that number just a month back, but Udayan Mane made it through as the highest ranked player to be considered post withdrawals of other players. This Indian representation in such a widely coveted tournament can be seen as something that has set a good precedent for the future. This is not the first time India is taking part in golf at the Olympics. At Rio 2016, Anirban managed a rank of 57 while Shiv Chawrasia came 50th along with Aditi Ashok who came 41st in the ladies tour. Consistent participation in international tournaments along can only pave the way for India to understand the importance of focusing on Golf for the future.

Anirban ended his golf campaign with a position of T-42. Not too many people know this, but he was tied at 8th position heading into day 2 and a change of weather on the following day could have also affected his game. By day 1 he had a stellar score of 4 under 67. His start was quite bad as he had a bogey, but he managed to salvage 4 consecutive birdies from the 5th-7th and 9th holes. This helped him maintain his high position that again saw a drop and another rise into the top 10 by the 16th hole.

Udayan Mane was dead last on the first day, but he made a good comeback to go to T-57 on the second day. Even though there were considerable delays affecting the Indian golfers, Udayan managed three birdies on the back 9 course to move his position up. Despite the rise in rankings, both the Indian's could not sustain themselves and ended Round 3 and Round 4 out of the top 35.

The Indian golf challenge has ended for the men's event. However, the final positions of both Anirban and Udayan only represent a growing interest in golf that India has seen over the past few decades. It will take time to set in considering it is an expensive sport, but what really makes the Tokyo Olympics special is that golf has been given the necessary awareness that it needs in India. We will also see Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar take part in the women's individual round on 4th August. One can hope to see more Indian golfer's exceed expectations in the years to come as the bar continues to slowly shift higher and higher.

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