"I'm playing for India and Asia, says Lahiri"

Thu 09 Apr 2015

"I'm playing for India and Asia, says Lahiri"

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Augusta, Georgia, April 8: A new chapter will be written in Anirban Lahiri’s burgeoning career when he tees off in his maiden Masters Tournament on Thursday.
The current Asian Tour number will be hoping to sparkle at Augusta National in the year’s opening Major after concluding his tournament preparation with an appearance in the fun-filled Par-3 Contest on Wednesday.
“The first shot on Thursday is going to be special. And it is easily one of the biggest ever events I have played in - though the (British) Open and PGA Championshp were also special in their own way,” said Lahiri, the current world number 34.
“I am not exactly in awe, but I am excited alright. I get the feeling this kind of golf course suits me. Having said that, it is a challenging course.
“I am set for the Masters. My game is ready and I’ve had good sessions out here and my childhood dream is now about to become a reality. I know I have it to belong here and I now am playing not just for myself for but for India and Asian golf.”
He has been paired with Lee Westwood of England and Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain for the first two rounds, both with whom he has gotten to know better after playing with them in Asia recently.
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
With his wife, Ipsa managing the logistics from behind the scenes with his management team, Lahiri has felt right at home.
Lahiri, who has been at Augusta since Saturday evening, has now played the course twice over. He played the full 18 holes on Sunday and then played the front nine on Monday and the back nine on Tuesday.
“I have played the course twice over three days and have prepared well with my caddie, Cline Laddie, and I’m all set,” said Lahiri.
“Both Lee and Miguel are experienced stars and I have known them better recently. They are great fun and also very encouraging. I played the final round of the Maybank Malaysian Open with Lee and the first two rounds of the Hero Indian Open with Miguel. Both those events have great memories for me (as Lahiri won both).”
Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Hero MotoCorp Ltd, is amongst a strong contingent of Indian golf fans in Augusta National where he will be following Lahiri’s progress very closely after sponsoring the player for the past five years.
“Anirban is a perfect example of the kind of talent that exists and is waiting to be tapped in India and Asia. In the past decade or so, Indians have won more than 60 titles across Asia, Japan, Europe and even in the U.S. Anirban’s flowering into a world-class golfer will further promote the sport and hopefully his presence at next year’s Olympic Games in Rio will provide the ideal boost to the game in India,” said Munjal.
Thai star Thongchai Jaidee is also in the elite field along with Asian Tour honorary members Ernie Els and Vijay Singh plus Korean stars Sangmoon Bae and Seungyul Noh, both former winners on the Asian Tour.