Lahiri and Bhullar ready to rock the world

Tue 19 Nov 2013

Lahiri and Bhullar ready to rock the world

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Melbourne, VIC, November 19: India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar does not want to let his biggest fans - his parents – down when he attempts to build on a liking for Royal Melbourne Golf Club at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf which starts on Thursday.
Together with close friend Anirban Lahiri, Bhullar will represent his nation for the first time at the US$8 million event at the iconic Royal Melbourne where he enjoyed a top-10 finish at last week’s Australian Masters.
“I’ve got family who came down from Brisbane last week and my parents are here as well from India this week. They do travel once in a while to watch me play and it’ll be good to play well in front of them at such an important event. Everyone is so excited to see me play in the World Cup,” said Bhullar, who is a four-time Asian Tour champion.
“I played really good here last week. I was feeling high on confidence and I’m sure that confidence will help me. I just want to focus on the next four days. The sky is the limit. I’m going to try to keep my confidence level high.
“This is my first World Cup and I’m really excited. We went for qualifying a few years ago and we just missed it. It’s a great sense of achievement for team India. Anirban and I have grown up together in the amateur ranks and we represented India in quite a few international events, so it’s good to be here together.”
Lahiri didn’t enjoy a good outing at the par-71 Royal Melbourne last week, missing the cut after failing to come to grips with the lighting-quick greens at one of Australia’s most famous sandbelt golf courses.
"It’s probably the quickest greens that I’ve ever played on. The biggest challenge would be around the greens, getting into the right spots. You could be five or 10 feet away and have no chance of making a two-putt unless it goes in,” said Lahiri, who is a three-time winner on the Asian Tour.
Like Bhullar, Lahiri is also making his debut in the prestigious tournament, which will offer US$7 million in the individual category and US$1 million for nations which consist of two players. He was delighted to line up alongside many of the game’s top players in the elite field who include an in-form Adam Scott of Australia, who has won his last two events at home, Graeme McDowell of Ireland, Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, Denmark’s Thomas Bjorn, Italian Matteo Manassero, Korea’s K.J. Choi, Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand and American Matt Kuchar.
“It’s fantastic,” said Lahiri of his first appearance at the ISPS HANDA World Cup of Golf. “I think Royal Melbourne is a very unique golf course, not one of the long courses in the world but it’s a mix between a parkland course and a links course, especially the bunkering. It’s very windy and challenging.
“The game has been good. I didn’t putt very well last week but I’ve made some adjustments to my putter. It’s a good move. The game is great, I I hit it great last week. Hopefully I can get into a good start this week. Gaganjeet had a great week last week with a top-10, he’s obviously got a hang of the golf course and we’re looking forward to combining our scores well.”
Lahiri said the strong Asian contingent in this week’s event was another reflection of the growth of the Asian Tour. A total of 13 Asian players will tee off on Thursday.
“I think we’re getting to a point where we have to stop saying we’ve come to the world stage as we are at the world stage,” said Lahiri.
“I think there’s a whole bunch of us who consistently play against the top players in the world and on top quality courses. The more events that we play like this and of this stature, the sooner we get to a point where we’re singling out events like this and saying we’re here.
“We’re a part of the bigger movement in golf especially with golf improving the way it is in Asia. There’s evidence of that with guys like Kiradech (Aphibarnrat) breaking through globally. Obviously, we want to put the Asian Tour on another step forward on the world map which we’ve been doing steadily,” he added.
Tickets to witness the ISPS HANDA World Cup are on sale now from www.ticketmaster.com.au.
About ISPS
ISPS is a ‘General Incorporated Association’ based in Tokyo.  ISPS was founded by Japanese philanthropist Dr Haruhisa Handa in 2006 to support charitable causes throughout the sporting world.  ISPS has fostered partnerships with golf governing bodies worldwide to help develop the game at every level and promote blind and disabled golf.  ISPS’s heritage in supporting blind and disabled golf and Dr Handa’s interest and philanthropic contribution in golf has formed the foundation of its wider mission for golf to become a Paralympic sport. Visit www.ispsgolf.com
About Melbourne
Known as one of the world’s most liveable cities, it is Melbourne’s sophisticated, yet edgy style combined with super-friendly people that gives the city its personality. With an impressive calendar of high profile international events, including The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and The Australian Open Tennis Championships, Melbourne is a leader in staging major events and providing a world-class welcome to international visitors.
With inner-city precincts ranging from the infamous city centre laneways to the beachy, bayside chic of the south and eclectic northside cool – Melbourne is a city of constant discovery where fashion, food, sport and entertainment, shopping, heritage, the arts and good living all come together to creative a lifestyle envied by many around the world. Food and wine lovers in particular will be in food heaven in gourmet Melbourne. Eating experiences range from award-winning celebrity chef restaurants to farmers markets selling locally sourced wines and fresh produce.
As one of the most compact regions in Australia, Victoria offers a huge variety of landscapes and experiences within a few hours of Melbourne. Whether its deserts, alpine ski resorts, mighty rivers, great lakes, wildlife, or the unparalleled spectacle and beauty of the world renowned Great Ocean Road, Victoria is all about quality experiences.
Many of the state’s regional attractions, including valleys of vineyards and international surf beaches, are less than a two-hour drive from Melbourne. But with more time to spare, the entire state offers a variety of scenic routes ideal for self-drive and personalised tours.
About the International Federation of PGA Tours
The International Federation of PGA Tours was formed in 1996 by golf’s five world governing bodies – The European Tour, Japan Golf Tour Organisation, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa PGA Tour) with the purpose of providing a forum for the world’s professional golf organizations to discuss issues of mutual importance and, together, develop and promote the game of golf on a global basis.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Asian Tour joined the International Federation of PGA Tours in November 1999, while the Canadian Tour and the Tour de las Americas joined the Federation as associate members in 2000 and 2007, respectively.
In step with global growth of professional golf, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced an expansion and restructuring of its membership in 2009, adding the International Golf Association and additional professional golf tours, including – for the first time – women’s golf tours: China Golf Association; Korea Professional Golfers’ Association; Professional Golf Tour of India; LPGA Tour; Ladies European Tour; Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour; Japan LPGA; Korean LPGA; and Ladies Asian Golf Tour.
About the International Golf Association
The International Golf Association (IGA) is a not-for-profit corporation, chartered in the State of New York in 1956.  IGA is governed by its seven-member Board of Directors.  Jonathan Linen is the IGA Board Chairman.  Through its association with the International Federation of PGA Tours, IGA continues its international goodwill through golf mission and looks forward to the 2013 return of the World Cup to The Royal Melbourne Golf Club, one of the world’s greatest golf venues.
About IMG
IMG Worldwide is a global sports, fashion and media business, with nearly 3,500 employees operating in 30 countries around the globe. IMG’s areas of expertise are diverse and wide ranging:  IMG College; IMG’s Joint Ventures in China, Brazil, India and Turkey; IMG Media; IMG Events and Federations; IMG Golf and IMG Tennis; IMG Fashion; IMG Models; IMG Art+Commerce; IMG Clients; IMG Academy; IMG Consulting and IMG Licensing.  More information is available at www.imgworld.com  Follow us on Twitter:  http://twitter.com/ IMG_Worldwide and Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/IMG-Worldwide/
On-site media contacts:
Georgie Cox, World Cup, PR Manager, 0419334492, georgie@coxmarketing.com.au
Nicole O’Farrell, PGA of Australia, 0439 933490, nofarrell@pga.org.au
Chris Reimer, PGA TOUR, 0432 801 047, chrisreimer@pgatourhq.com
Paul Symes, European Tour, 0466 220 285, psymes@europeantour.com
Chuah Choo Chiang, Director, Communications, Asian Tour, +6012 217 2123, chuah@asiantour.com