Lipsky and Lahiri continue Merit battle

Tue 07 Oct 2014

Lipsky and Lahiri continue Merit battle

  • SHARE
Hong Kong, October 7: American David Lipsky and India’s Anirban Lahiri will resume their battle for the prestigious Asian Tour’s Order of Merit crown at the upcoming Hong Kong Open and Venetian Macau Open.
The top-two ranked golfers on the region’s premier Tour have committed to play in both tournaments, which will offer a combined US$2.2 million in prize money. Lahiri and Lipsky will be joined by many world-class stars including Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez in what is poised to be a thrilling two-week swing on the Asian Tour.
Lipsky leads the Merit list with US$665,725, thanks largely to an impressive victory at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland last month while Lahiri trails in second place with US$342,689.
The Indian star, victorious at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters in April, knows the magnitude of the challenge ahead and believes he needs to secure a second victory of the season to have a chance of becoming Asia’s new number one, a title won previously by compatriots Arjun Atwal, Jyoti Randhawa and Jeev Milkha Singh.
“I’m looking forward to both Hong Kong and Macau. I came close in Macau last year, played well in the last round (with a course-record tying 62 to finish second). Last year in Hong Kong, it was the first time that I played really well to finish tied 12th. I seem to have found my place in Fanling and got the clubbing right. I’m feeling positive going back to Hong Kong,” said Lahiri.
The US$1.3 million Hong Kong Open, jointly sanctioned with The European Tour, will be played at the Hong Kong Golf Club from October 16 to 19 while the full-field US$900,000 Venetian Macau Open will be played at the Macau Golf and Country Club from October 23 to 26.
Lipsky, whose triumph in Switzerland was his second on the Asian Tour, rated the venerable Hong Kong Golf Club as amongst his favourite venues. “Hong Kong is a phenomenal course. It’s probably one of my favourite courses on the Asian Tour, if not my favourite. It’s not tricked up and it’s always in good shape and it’s fair. The greens are always great and its fast,” said the Korean-American, who like Lahiri also finished tied 12th in Hong Kong last year.
The 26-year-old Lipsky missed the cut in his only appearance in Macau in 2012 but believes he will be better positioned to challenge for title. “I played in Macau two years ago, which was the last event of a seven-week stretch. I’m looking forward to playing it when I’m a bit fresher,” he said.
“The win in Switzerland will do a lot for me, but I’m just trying to stick to what I’ve been doing in the last three years since I turned professional which is to get better and to improve. Hopefully if I keep improving, wins like that will take care of itself.
“Anirban is playing pretty well right now and a bunch of other guys in the top-10 are playing good. Rikard (Karlberg) and Antonio (Lascuna) are also playing well. Those two guys, on any given week, can pop off and play well. I have to play solid for the rest of the year to lock it (Merit title) up. But I’m in a good spot right now.”
Lahiri, 27, has also developed into a star in his own right with four career victories now on the Asian Tour. He also played a big role in Asia’s thrilling draw with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup presented by DRB-HICOM in Malaysia earlier this season.
With both the Hong Kong and Macau courses demanding precision and accuracy, he believes it could play into his hands as he chases Lipsky. “There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m playing well,” said the Indian.
“Growing up, people say that I would play great in open courses as I hit it far and I like to hit driver. But my wedge play is quite good and I’ve kind of matured into playing all kinds of tracks. I actually enjoy playing on tight and tricky courses and I don’t know if it’s because I’ve won at the Delhi Golf Club (three times) which has helped me figure out things when I’m playing on other courses.”
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.