Lahiri has one hand on Merit crown

Sun 01 Nov 2015

Lahiri has one hand on Merit crown

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Kuala Lumpur, November 1: India’s Anirban Lahiri is putting the champagne on ice as he took a big step towards wrapping up the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown following the conclusion of the US$7 million CIMB Classic on Sunday.
With his closest rivals Scott Hend and Andrew Dodt, both from Australia, finishing below him at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club, the 28-year-old Lahiri extended his lead over second-ranked Hend to US$647,453 following his tied 21st finish here.
“We'll see. Funnier things have happened,” said Lahiri, who earned another US$78,400 following a closing two-under-par 70 for a 14-under-par 274 aggregate.
Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia
“I'm obviously really thrilled with the way I've played all year. I played pretty consistently. So, hopefully, if things do go my way, it will be fantastic to win the Order of Merit. It's been something that I wanted to do, it's been something that has eluded me.
“When the time comes, if that does happen, it will be a very special moment for me,” added Lahiri, who has amassed US$1.13 million on the Asian Tour this season.
Hend conceded Lahiri has done enough to become the new Asian Tour number one. With six events remaining, either Hend or Dodt would need to win almost all remaining tournaments to have a chance of surpassing the Indian star.
The 42-year-old Hend said he needed a top-two finish in Malaysia to keep the Merit battle alive but settled for a share of 27th position after closing with a 67. Dodt finished tied 56th to remain third on the Merit list
“It's over ... finished,” said Hend. “I pretty much had to win this week, otherwise Anirban is going to have it wrapped up. He's played fantastic golf obviously at the start of the year and deserves it.”
Hend, winner of the Venetian Macao Open two weeks ago, lamented he couldn’t hole enough putts to make a title run at the CIMB Classic. “I couldn't really get anything going coming in today. It is what it is,” he said.
“Just didn't hole enough putts. You got to hole a lot of putts against these guys or you're going to be behind the eight-ball.”
Lahiri, who played in his first Presidents Cup three weeks ago and is now ranked 37th in the world, was disappointed he didn’t put a better showing at the West course where he had won the Malaysian Open earlier this season.
“I didn't get any momentum,” said Lahiri. “Having said that, it's not a bad week. It's a decent week, but definitely not what I had hoped for. I didn't hit my irons very good this week. I think that has been my strength over the last few weeks but this week my iron play wasn't very good.”
About CIMB Group
The title sponsor of the CIMB Classic is CIMB Group. CIMB Group is one of ASEAN’s leading universal banking groups. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the Group is now present in 8 out of 10 ASEAN nations. CIMB Group offers a full suite of financial services and related products; has a market capitalisation of approximately USD 12.4 billion as at 30 June 2015 and over 44,000 employees located in 17 countries. Read more about CIMB Group at www.cimb.com.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 130 tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, NEC Series-PGA TOUR Latinoamérica, PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR China.
The PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, generate significant charitable and economic impact in the communities in which it plays, and provide financial opportunities for TOUR players.
Worldwide, PGA TOUR tournaments are broadcast to more than 1 billion households in 225 countries and territories in 32 languages. Virtually all tournaments are organized as non-profit organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2013, tournaments across all Tours generated more than $134 million for local and national charitable organizations and in early 2014 the TOUR’s all-time charitable contributions surpassed $2 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is PGATOUR.COM, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About the Asian Tour
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.