"Lahiri, Gangjee eye strong HK outing"

Wed 15 Oct 2014

"Lahiri, Gangjee eye strong HK outing"

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Hong Kong, October 15: India’s Rahil Gangjee is preparing for a big push at the Hong Kong Open which starts on Thursday to qualify for the CIMB Classic in Malaysia later this month.
The Indian has slipped from fourth place to 12th on the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit in recent weeks and with the leading 10 players earning spots in the US$7 million CIMB event after Hong Kong, he knows he is on last chance saloon.
“It was on my mind (qualifying for the CIMB Classic) even when I was playing in Chinese Taipei at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters. I was trying to catch Cameron Smith but he is still slightly ahead of me,” said Gangjee.
“The winners of the past one month have been overtaking me slowly and gradually on the Order of Merit. I went from fourth to 12th in about a month and a half so it is kind of a reality check. I have to step up in my game this week.”
MACAU - OCTOBER 20: Rahil Gangjee.
Gangjee hopes his liking for the venerable Hong Kong Golf Club would help him produce a top result.
“The positions of the top-10 or 15 guys change really quickly because of the winners that come in. Besides that, hopefully this week will be a better week. This is one of my favourite golf courses. We’ve been playing here for so many years. The course sets up well for me,” he said.
For countryman Anirban Lahiri, the Hong Kong Open will present him with an opportunity to narrow the gap on Merit leader David Lipsky.
Following a two-week break, a refreshed Lahiri is hoping to contend at the Hong Kong Open come Sunday.
“I had a really good outing last year. I played really well and had my best finish in this event (tied 12th). I’m starting to like the golf course and understanding how to play it. I’m glad to be back here and looking forward to playing well,” he said.
“I needed that two-week break very badly. It was starting to get to me. I haven’t been playing golf in the last 10 days and spent a lot of time with the family. I’m relaxed and hungry to do well again.
“I decided to fly to Hong Kong on Sunday. I played nine holes on Monday and another nine on Tuesday just to ease myself into the week and get back into tournament golf. It has really been relaxing.
“The course is different because we usually play here in November or December so it used to be colder. However, the course is still playing great and the rough’s up. We usually don’t play with high rough here but this week it will be lethal. It is going to be interesting. If you can keep it on the fairways, you will have more scoring opportunities as compared to previous years. It is a good week to be hitting it straight.”