India's Lahiri aims to tame beast

Tue 01 Oct 2013

India's Lahiri aims to tame beast

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Taipei, October 1: India’s Anirban Lahiri is counting on one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation to steer himself back onto the trail of glory when the US$600,000 Mercuries Taiwan Masters tees off at the Taiwan Golf and Country Club on Thursday.
A known Vipassna meditation follower, Lahiri will be looking to maintain a positive state of mind when he steps up to the tee at the richest Asian Tour event staged in Chinese Taipei.
“The course is such a beast. The conditions are always tough and it’s a mental challenge. I’ll be looking to meditate a lot,” said Lahiri, who finished tied-25th in last year’s edition.
Since winning his third Asian Tour title at the SAIL-SBI Open on home soil earlier this year, Lahiri has not been able to reproduce his winning form as injuries have hampered his progress and caused him to miss successive cuts in his last two events in Taipei and Japan.
“It has been tough for me after my knee injury last month and I’ve not been able to play at my 100%. It can be frustrating at times but I’m working through it and I’m getting better and stronger,” said the 26-year-old.
The Indian, who is eighth on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, remains hopeful of mounting a title charge this week to seal his place among the elite at two upcoming high profiles events following his campaign in Taipei.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters is the last event for players to fight for the 10 available spots on the Order of Merit for the US$7 million CIMB Classic in Malaysia and is also the penultimate event to qualify for the US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions in China next month.
“I’m trying to increase my workload and practice and I’m slowly getting there. With hard work and commitment, I’m sure my efforts will eventually pay off,” said Lahiri.
Like Lahiri, Thailand’s Arnond Vongvanij is also hoping to focus his mind and haul himself back into contention for his second Asian Tour title at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.
Arnond started the year promisingly with a tied-10th finish at the season-opening event in Myanmar and almost added a second win when he came in second at the Queen’s Cup at home in June.
However, the 24-year-old Thai lost his way recently and missed three cuts in his last four events.
“My game’s good but sometimes my focus is just not there all the time and I don’t know why,” lamented Arnond.
“Maybe I’ve been trying too hard on the golf course and I get tensed up easily. It seems like I haven’t got off to a good start this year yet. If I can get off to a good start, I feel I’ll stand a good chance when the weekend comes around,” added Arnond.
The Mercuries Taiwan Masters has long been a mainstay on the Asian Tour Schedule and will welcome over 30 Tour champions and players from the region’s premier Tour as they battle for the lucrative winner’s prize purse of US$120,000.
The local charge will be spearheaded by defending champion Tsai Chi-huang as well as other hopefuls including Lin Wen-tang, Chan Yih-shih and Lu Wei-chih who have a combined total of 11 Asian Tour titles.
Other contenders for the Mercuries Taiwan Masters include India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar and Australia’s Scott Hend, who are ranked second and third respectively on the current Asian Tour Order of Merit.
Thailand's Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who leads the Order of Merit with a season’s haul of US$679,999, has withdrawn from the event due to a lower back injury.
Ends.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.