Lahiri stays focused at Avantha Masters

Wed 13 Mar 2013

Lahiri stays focused at Avantha Masters

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Greater Noida, India, March 13: Three-time Asian Tour winner Anirban Lahiri of India is confident his mental strength will make the difference as he goes in search of a back-to-back victory at the €1.8 million (approximately US$2.3 million) Avantha Masters which tees off on Thursday.
Fresh from securing his third Asian Tour win through yet another play-off on home soil last week, Lahiri believes the training from his Vipassna meditation will set him apart from the rest of the strong field at the Avantha Masters which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI).
“My Vipassna training has definitely helped me a lot. It’s like swimming or cycling. Once you’ve learnt how it, you’ll not forget how to do it anymore,” said Lahiri.
“It really depends thereafter how much you practise it. I’ve not practised it as much as I would like but I’m glad that it’s still there with me,” added the 25-year-old.
While Lahri is feeling at the top of his game today, his rise was also met with several challenges along the way.
“After my first win, I suffered a bad patch and struggled through the second half of 2011. I’ve learnt from that last year and managed to keep it going and this year I would like to do more of the same,” said Lahiri.
The Indian registered only one top-10 after his maiden breakthrough in 2011 but enjoyed a memorable year in 2012 when he won his second Asian Tour title and enjoyed four other top-10s to end the season in 10th place on the Order of Merit.
The season was also highlighted by a successful Major debut at the British Open where he finished tied 31st.
“Obviously the goals are different this year and I’m really glad I won last week as it has given me a great boost to the start of the year. I’m looking to push on and play well in the co-sanction events and get my world rankings up especially with the Olympics approaching,” added Lahiri.
All events on the Asian Tour as well as Asian Development Tour (ADT) receive Official World Golf Ranking points and the winner of this week’s Avantha Masters will receive 20 world ranking points.
Meanwhile Jeev Milkha Singh, who is widely regarded as the flag bearer for golf in India, is pleased that he is starting the week in the best of form.
After being plagued by various injuries throughout his illustrious career which has seen him win six times on the Asian Tour and recording three other victories on European soil, the Asian Tour honorary member is ready to compete in the pink of health.
“I’m injury-free and I think that’s a good story to tell. Normally I would have been injured for the last five years. I’m feeling good about my game as I can hit the balls the way I want to now and not worry about any injuries,” said Singh.
Singh believes the current crop of Indian players have what it takes to take golf in India to greater heights and continue India’s proud tradition in golf.
After all, India holds the distinction of having produced the most number of Asian Tour Order of Merit champions, through Arjun Atwal in 2003, Singh in 2006 and 2008 and Jyoti Randhawa, the country’s first Asian number one in 2002.
“The Avantha group has done a fantastic job by putting together an event like this. It’s also a great opportunity for Indian players to perform and for the game to grow in our country,” said Singh.
After savouring the high of shedding his bridesmaid tag with his win at the Avantha Masters last year, Kruger is now looking forward to build on that success.
“The win last year was a milestone in my career. It definitely brought back memories especially my good form,” said Kruger.
The South African went on to finish third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last year and is now aiming for a  successful defence of his title.
“That win has taught me to believe in myself a little bit more. It’s one thing to compete and another thing to be able to win. I hope I can do it again,” said Kruger.
Ends.
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), BlackBerry (Official Communications Partner), Canon (Official Imaging Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Supplier), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), 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