Lahiri holds no fear

Wed 05 Nov 2014

Lahiri holds no fear

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Shanghai, November 5: India’s Anirban Lahiri is confident he will stand tall among the giants when he tees off at the WGC-HSBC Champions which begins at the Sheshan International Golf Club on Thursday.
The US$8.5 million Chinese showpiece which is also the final World Golf Championships event of the year will feature 40 of the top 50 players in the world including Australia’s Adam Scott, Germany’s Martin Kaymer, England’s Justin Rose as well as Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson of the United States.
However, the 27-year-old Indian, ranked 73rd in the world, does not believe it will be a David vs. Goliath contest and is ready to put up a performance befitting of his status of an Asian heavyweight.
“Obviously I've looked up to a lot of these guys but I think over the last two or three years, I played more and more with some of the world's best players and I've beaten a lot of them in many of the events."
"So I definitely have the confidence and the game to compete with them. I’m here this week and nothing would give me more pleasure than to beat most of them,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri’s confidence further stems from the growing testimonials he has received from the world’s leading players including Major winner and Asian Tour honorary member Ernie Els, who is also part of the elite field this week
“I played with Ernie last year in Chiangmai and we've met a few times, and he's always saying a lot of good things to me."
"I’ve also played with a bunch of PGA TOUR guys and everybody looks to me and says, "What are you doing here?  Why aren't you playing with us in America?  You've got the game.  You've got the ability."
"So it's not one but a number of players who have encouraged me and given me lots of confidence.  It comes down to executing them in events like this and I'm really eager to do that,” said Lahiri, who will have the company of American J B Holmes and Scotland’s Marc Warren for his opening two rounds.
Lahiri, a five-time Asian Tour winner, has already enjoyed two wins in Indonesia and Macau this year along with five top-10s to take second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit, which is expected to go down the wire this season.
“One of the goals would be to win the Order of Merit as it comes with lots of incentive. I've got another three or four events on the Asian Tour that count and I’m going to try to threaten David (Lipsky) for that number one spot,” said Lahiri.
The leading four available players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit including Lipsky and Jason Knutzon of the United States, Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Lahiri will feature at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China which is the only country outside the United States to currently be hosting a one of the four prestigious World Golf Championship events.
Merit winners, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand along with China’s Liang Wen-chong are also expected to spearhead the Asian challenge.
The WGC-HSBC Champions is one of four World Golf Championships sanctioned and organised by the operational committee of the International Federation of PGA Tours, which includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour. The other World Golf Championships include the WGC- Match Play, WGC-Cadillac Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Ends.
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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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.
About HBSC:
HSBC provides a comprehensive range of financial services to around 58 million customers through four global businesses; Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Global Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets and Global Private Banking.
HSBC Golf Sponsorships
HSBC’s global commitment to golf encompasses all levels of the game, from grassroots to elite. HSBC is a Patron of The Open Championship and this partnership with The Royal & Ancient creates a centre of gravity in a global golf portfolio that spans HSBC's key markets.  In Asia, HSBC has spearheaded the arrival of world-class golf events, with its flagship WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai and HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore. The WGC-HSBC Champions is renowned as ‘Asia’s Major’ and was once described by 14-time Major winner and former World Number 1 Tiger Woods as “The crowning jewel of all of Asian golf.”
HSBC has been co-title sponsor of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship since 2010 and the event has quickly become one of the biggest events on the European PGA Tour calendar.  As golf returns to the Olympic Games for Rio 2016, HSBC is also sponsoring the Brasil Champions event on the Web.com Tour.
However, underpinning those blue-riband events is a longer-term goal to create a legacy from HSBC’s global tournaments through its sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes.  As well as committing to the professional game, HSBC has a longer-term goal to create the legacy through sponsorship of youth development and grassroots programmes around the world. In China, HSBC supports the HSBC China Junior Golf Program – a sustainable long-term structure and framework upon which the future of Chinese golf is being built. This includes the HSBC-sponsored China National Junior Team, the HSBC China Junior Open and the HSBC National Junior Golf Championship: a year-long series of tournaments designed to give China’s elite junior golfers the competitive platform they need to develop their game. In the UK HSBC is sponsor of HSBC Golf Roots – The Golf Foundation's national development programme which promotes the sport in schools, helps youngsters into clubs, and uses golf to promote important life skills such as honesty and respect.
For more details on HSBC's golf activities, visit www.hsbcgolf.com
The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from over 6,300 offices in 75 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,758bn at 31 March 2014, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.
About IMG
IMG is a global leader in sports, fashion and media operating in more than 30 countries around the world. IMG’s businesses include Events & Media, College, Golf, Tennis, Performance and IMG Academy, Fashion, Models, Clients, Consulting, Licensing, Joint Ventures, and creative management agency Art + Commerce. In 2014, IMG was acquired by WME, the world’s leading entertainment and media agency. Together, the companies offer an unparalleled client roster; world-class partnerships with sponsors, brands and broadcasters; and marquee assets across entertainment, events and fashion.
About World Golf Championships/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 Organization, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia and Sunshine Tour (South Africa) 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.  The Asian Tour joined the Federation in November 1999.  As part of its mission, the Federation initiated the World Golf Championships in 1999.  The Federation was expanded in June 2009 and now includes the Asian Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, PGA TOUR, PGA Tour of Australasia, Sunshine Tour, China Golf Association, Korea Professional Golf Tour Corp., Professional Golf Tour of India, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour, Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour, Japan LPGA, Korean LPGA and the Ladies Asian Golf Tour.