Lahiri hoping for a debut to remember

Thu 30 Oct 2014

Lahiri hoping for a debut to remember

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October 31: India’s Anirban Lahiri will be hoping for a memorable debut when he takes his place among the game’s elite at next week’s US$8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions.
The final World Golf Championships event of the year will be held at the Sheshan International Golf Club from November 6-9 and will feature some of the world’s best players including Australia’s Adam Scott, Germany’s Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson of the United States.
The 27-year-old Indian earned his place among the star studded field by virtue of his current position where he sits in second place on the Asian Tour Order of Merit.
While he may have played in other Chinese cities before, this will be the first time Lahiri is teeing up at the Sheshan International Golf Club and he will be arriving in Shanghai on the back of a sizzling form that saw him lift his fifth Asian Tour title in Macau last week.
“I believe the last time I played in China was during my rookie season on the Asian Tour. That was a long time back. But I’ve since grown as a player maybe from 24 months back.
This is the time of the year where you want to play your best golf. We’ve got the biggest events with prize money and world ranking points and there’s a lot to play for. I’m playing well and I’m confident. I’m focused on what I need to do,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri, who has set himself a target of breaking into the world’s top-50 by the end of the season, is confident of taking on the best players in the world at the WGC-HSBC Champions, having notched two wins and four top-10s on the region’s premier Tour this season.
“My game is there and I know I can compete against the best players in the world. There are still some areas that I know I must get better. I’m working on it and it’s obviously improving,” said Lahiri, who is ranked 69th in the world.
While hard work and determination has made him the world-class player that he is today, Lahiri’s upbringing and attitude also played a huge part in his meteoric rise.
“My attitude and how I come across is from the Indian values that I have. I look up to a lot of these players like Ernie (Els) and Jeev (Milkha Singh). But when I’m on the course, I feel I can beat anyone of them on my day. I do respect them and I’m there to play golf,” said the Indian.
The leading four players from the Asian Tour Order of Merit including David Lipsky and Jason Knutzon of the United States, Filipino Antonio Lascuna and Lahiri will feature in the Chinese showpiece which is the only country outside the United States to currently be hosting a one of the four prestigious World Golf Championship events.
EurAsia Cup captain and three-time Asian Tour Order of Merit winner, Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand will also spearhead the Asian challenge alongside home favourite Liang Wen-chong.
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.