Lahiri sets sights on golden prize

Fri 01 Nov 2013

Lahiri sets sights on golden prize

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New Delhi, November 1: Anirban Lahiri will hold no fear when he vies for the prestigious 50th Hero Indian Open title at the intimidating and challenging Delhi Golf Club (DGC) next week.
The tree-lined and narrow Delhi Golf Club is rated as one of the most difficult golf courses on the Asian Tour but Lahiri has enjoyed huge success on the course where he won three Asian Tour titles.
“A lot of the players fear DGC, it’s probably one of the feared courses on Tour. I’m comfortable at the Delhi Golf Club. For me, the Indian Open has been good, moving from one favourite venue to another. I’m looking forward to a win,” smiled Lahiri.
Lahiri said that winning his National Open remains as one of his top priorities in his golfing career. He has enjoyed some measure of success in the Hero Indian Open in the past, finishing tied third, 15th and fifth in 2009, 2011 and 2012 respectively.
“It’s going to be a historic event. Everyone mention it’s such an important event for the Indians, there is so much history and tradition behind it. It’s like a major for all of us. I know Jeev (Milkha Singh) even he wants to win the Indian Open before he retires.
“That’s what it means to someone like Jeev who has won so many events around the world. Being the 50th year, it’s going to be special. It’s one of the longest running in Asia and one of our biggest,” said the 26-year-old Lahiri.
He said the Indian Open has played a huge part in launching the careers of many Indian golfers including three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal, who is the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour and C. Muniyappa.
“It would be very special if I can win it. When I was playing junior golf, everyone wanted to turn amateur very quickly as the top amateurs get to play in the Indian Open. It’s a very special event even to play as an amateur. We tried our heart out as an amateur just to play and to win it would be absolutely fantastic.
Lahiri recalls his first experience of watching and playing in the Indian Open. “I was a spectator and it was good, it was probably in 1999 when Arjun won it in Royal Calcutta. I was probably 11 or 12. It was a lot of fun. The first Indian Open that I played wasn’t so much fun. It was my first pro event in 2007. I didn’t play too well and missed the cut. Mixed memories!”
Lahiri praised the commitment from Mr. Pawan Munjal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd.
“Mr Munjal is one of those pillars of golf in India. He’s always been there to support us and help us forward. He showed a lot of faith and believes in us. When someone like Mr Munjal shows belief in you and your ability by sponsoring you or giving an invite, it means a lot as they believe you can do it and that really helps.
“I’m really grateful that I’m now associated with Hero for four years. It’s been a fantastic association. My golf has turned around in the last three to four years and I’m happy with the support that I’ve got from Hero,” he said.
In one of the strongest ever fields to assemble at the Delhi Golf Club from November 7-10, multiple Asian Tour winner Atwal, who was the Asian number one in 2003, Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, local heroes Bhullar, Shiv Kapur and Bangladeshi Siddikur will be amongst the leading stars challenging for the Golden anniversary title.
About Hero Indian Open
The Hero Indian Open (Golf) is India’s longest running international sports competition and is held annually on the Asian Tour. Started in 1964, it has now been held for 49 years and celebrates its golden jubilee in 2013. With a total prize purse of US$1.25 million and featuring top Indian and international golfers, the Hero Indian Open is the flagship event of Indian golf.
About the Asian Tour
In 2013, the Asian Tour will celebrate a momentous milestone with its 10th season. 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 Supplier), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant), Starwood Hotels and Resorts (Official Hotels and Resorts) 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.