Lahiri set sights on winning #MMO

Tue 03 Feb 2015

Lahiri set sights on winning #MMO

  • SHARE
Kuala Lumpur, February 3: Anirban Lahiri was ‘scared’ when he made his Maybank Malaysian Open debut some five years ago but how times have changed for the better for the Indian star.
The 27-year-old tees up at the Asian Tour’s season-opening US$3 million showpiece on Thursday as one of the in-form players following a career best year in 2014 where he finished second on the Order of Merit following two victories and seven top-10s and was later voted as the Players’ Player of the Year.
He will take on some of the game’s biggest names at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course from Thursday including title holder Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, new Asian Tour number one David Lipsky, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, both former champions of the Maybank Malaysian Open.
“It is easy to say that the first time I played in the Maybank Malaysian Open, I was a little bit scared and unsure of myself. That’s now in the past. Not only have I matured but I’ve improved mentally and I’m able to focus on what I need to do instead of what’s going on around me,” said Lahiri.
Angelo Que of the Philippines Angelo Que of the Philippines
“If anything it spurs me on to do better (playing in top fields). It inspires me to push myself a little harder. Having said that, I’ve played consistently in top notch fields. It is not a new experience anymore.”
Climbing his way into the world’s top-50 – Lahiri is currently ranked 73rd – is a priority for the new season while he also hopes to establish himself on the European Tour after gaining  a card from Qualifying School and eventually play his way onto the PGA Tour.
The Indian star is not ready to rest on his laurels in his quest for more glory. “It is a clean slate. You’ve got to start from scratch,” he insisted.
“My goals are the same. Top-50, playing in Europe and America, these are all the goals that I will always have in mind right through my career. I have to build this season, primarily playing in the European Tour but I’ll play my minimum on the Asian Tour. I do enjoy being in Asia so I’ll still play here.”
With the Maybank Malaysian Open being co-sanctioned with the European Tour, Lahiri, who finished tied 10th here last season, is eager to start producing top results. He managed to play in Abu Dhabi through a sponsor’s invite three weeks ago and failed to get into the fields in Qatar and Dubai.
Lahiri reckons the best way to rectify his lack of starts in Europe is by winning one of the co-sanctioned tournaments in Asia over the next three weeks to jump onto the winner’s exemption category.
“Sometimes it is tough to get into events early in the year. It is frustrating especially when you want to be out there competing. I’m at a stage where the more I play in better fields, the better I will be. If I do well this week, then it will have a positive impact. That’s the best way to move forward,” said Lahiri, who is a five-time Asian Tour winner.Prom Meesawat
“The game is good. I played in Abu Dhabi three weeks ago and that was my first event of the year. After that I was hoping to get into the last two events last week. I’ve been working hard on my game to make sure I don’t get into this type of situations next year.”
Bubby Filipino Angelo Que, who is well known for his striking clothes, capped his best season last year following four top-10s including a play-off defeat to Scott Hend of Australia at the Hong Kong Open.
After fulfilling his ambitions of finishing inside the top-10 on the Merit list, Que is now aiming to end a five-year title drought and secure a fourth Asian Tour title. “Last year was my best season so now I want to try and win my fourth Asian Tour title. I’m feeling a little bit rusty. I wasn’t able to play any tournaments during the off-season break. Hopefully I will get everything sorted out before the start of the tournament,” said Que.
“I rested because after Dubai I was sick and my body was in pain. I rested during the break and there wasn’t enough time for me and my family to go on a vacation. I just rested and now I’m ready to go,” he added.
Thailand’s Prom Meesawat, nicknamed the ‘Big Dolphin’ due for his burly physique and because he hails from the coastal town of Hua Hin, is also eager to start the season strongly at the Maybank Malaysian Open after finishing third on the Order of Merit last year.
However, he said he needed to regain his distance with the driver after spending most of his season break recovering from a back injury. “I’ve just recovered from a bad back and I lost some distance. I have to work hard to get my distance. I’ve been hitting an ‘easy’ swing because of my back injury and I lost my swing speed. Now I’m trying to get my tempo back,” said the two-time Asian Tour winner.
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,400 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People's Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.  The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
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 Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), 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.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour's innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being recognised as Number One and Two top golf courses in Malaysia for 2014 by US Golf Digest, voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships. We specialise in providing the full spectrum in  sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line.  We assist all our clients to create super-strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players’ managers to source the best players. GlobalOne currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment), Astro (Official Satellite TV), Jaguar Land Rover Malaysia (Official Car), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview Golf (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).