"Lahiri, Thongchai face Match Play tests"

Tue 28 Apr 2015

"Lahiri, Thongchai face Match Play tests"

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April 28: Presidents Cup hopefuls Anirban Lahiri of India and Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee will have their match play credentials come under the microscope when they compete in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play which begins at Harding Park on Wednesday.
Lahiri, the current Asian Tour number one, has been drawn into the same group as last week’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner Justin Rose, Ryan Palmer and Marc Leishman while three-time Order of Merit champion Thongchai will have the company of Jim Furyk, Martin Kaymer and George Coetzee.
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
Under the new format, players will play three round-robin matches where the group winners will then proceed into the last 16 round, guaranteeing a minimum of three matches each for the 64-man field.
For Lahiri, who is making his debut in the Cadillac Match Play, it will be another opportunity for him to reinforce his growing reputation in world golf. He successfully made the halfway cut at his debut at the Masters Tournament earlier this month, finishing tied 49th and finished equal 44th in the following week’s RBC Heritage.
As he currently lies in fifth spot in the International Team rankings for the Presidents Cup which will face the United States in Korea in October, Lahiri will be keen to produce some wins at Harding Park.
The 27-year-old Indian has very little match play pedigree but produced an eye-catching 2 and 1 singles victory over Frenchman Victor Dubuisson, a former runner-up at the WGC Match Play, in the inaugural EurAsia Cup – a Ryder Cup styled match between Europe and Asia – last year.
Currently 35th in the world, Lahiri won the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open over a three week stretch in February and he will be keen to make an impression at the Cadillac Match Play this week to reinforce his bid for a spot in the Presidents Cup.
Veteran Thongchai was a quarterfinalist in the 2010 WGC Match Play, losing to eventual winner Ian Poulter, and was also runner-up in the World Match Play Championship in Bulgaria to Graeme McDowell in 2013.
He turned the tables on McDowell with a 3 and 2 win in the EurAsia Cup singles where as team captain, he rallied Asia from an opening day 0-5 whitewash to tie the match 10-10.