SAN FRANCISCO, May 1 (PTI): Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri came within a whisker of pulling off a second upset in as many day before World No. 6 and Masters runner-up Justin Rose produced two great shots to first even the match on the 18th and then birdied the first play-off hole to keep his hopes alive at the WGC Match Play event here today.
World No. 35 Lahiri, who beat World No. 23 Ryan Palmer in the first match of the round-robin stage, led for almost the entire regulation period, except a couple of times when Rose pulled up to all-square at TPC Harding Park.
The only time Rose pulled ahead was on the 19th when he closed with a birdie as Lahiri parred on the play-off hole.
�It was a disappointing finish after a tight match,� said Lahiri. �I am still in it with one win and one loss. I just need a good day tomorrow (in the third round-robin stage match against Marc Leishman).�
Lahiri did not do anything seriously wrong on the back nine, it was just that Rose produced a couple of great shots at crucial times towards the very end.
�There is still the third match and there could a three-way play-off, let�s see,� said Lahiri.
Rose, who had to sweat it out and won it by the thinnest of margins, was all praise for Lahiri.
He said, �I put enough pressure on him in the end, but Anirban is a great putter. The first hole I looked like I had it won comfortably, he holed a 30-footer. And then he holed another 40-footer or so. It was going to be a tough match, I knew, from that moment.�
Rose added, �Anirban played solid golf today. He�s dangerous with a putter. And I sort of found that out early in the round. He knocks in a 30-footer for a half. And then knocks in another 35-footer elsewhere in the round (third hole). I knew he was never out of any hole. So it kept me on my toes.�