"Thongchai, Lahiri make Presidents Cup team"

Tue 08 Sep 2015

"Thongchai, Lahiri make Presidents Cup team"

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Sentosa, Singapore, September 8: Thai great Thongchai Jaidee and India’s Anirban Lahiri will make historic appearances at the Presidents Cup in Korea after qualifying on merit for the International Team to face the United States next month.
Lahiri, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader and twice a winner this season, finished seventh on the International Team rankings while Thongchai, the only man with three Order of Merit crowns in Asia, was ninth. The top-10 earned automatic spots in the team.
Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand
“I can’t describe the feeling because growing up, you look up to events like the Ryder Cup and feel terrible about it as you can’t be a part of something like that. But thankfully, we have the Presidents Cup for us to aim for and it is an achievement to make the team,” said Lahiri, who is currently ranked 40th in the world.
“I know Jeev (Milkha Singh) was really close to getting in one year when he was in the world’s top-50 and unfortunately, he couldn’t due to injury. It would have done a lot of good for golf, not just in India but in Asia.
“I’m looking forward to being a part of the International Team. It’ll be a massive boost for golf in the region. You get so many eyeballs and everybody in America will be watching. To be a part of something historic like that is extremely special. All I want to do is make sure that I get a point for the International Team,” added the Indian, who finished tied fifth at the PGA Championship last month for his best career finish to date in a Major.
[pullquote align="left"]“It’s a proud moment for me. It’ll be the first time that a Thai player will play in the Presidents Cup. - Thongchai Jaidee[/pullquote]The evergreen Thongchai, ranked 44th in the world, has come close to making the International Team previously and was delighted to add another career highlight to his glowing resume. The Thai legend was the playing captain for Team Asia in the tantalizing come-from-behind 10-10 draw with Team Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia last year where he defeated Graeme McDowell in the singles.
Anirban Lahiri of India Anirban Lahiri of India
“It’s a proud moment for me. It’ll be the first time that a Thai player will play in the Presidents Cup.  I think it can help the other young Asian players. When they see that I can get into the team, then they too will aim for it,” said the 45-year-old, who holds 13 Asian Tour victories and has also triumphed twice in Europe.
Lahiri and Thongchai will join Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Charl Schwartzel and Danny Lee in the International Team with captain Nick Price naming two picks later on Tuesday (U.S. time).
The U.S. team will consist of Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Chris Kirk, with two picks to be added. The Presidents Cup will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Songdo IBD, Incheon City, from October 8 to 11.
Asian Tour Chairman Kyi Hla Han hailed Lahiri and Thongchai for their achievements.
[pullquote align="right"]I’m looking forward to being a part of the International Team. It’ll be a massive boost for golf in the region. - Anirban Lahiri[/pullquote]“The Asian Tour is delighted and proud to see our members Anirban Lahiri and Thongchai Jaidee earning automatic places in the International Team. It is another feather in the cap for them as Anirban will be the first Indian and Thongchai the first Thai to play in the Presidents Cup. It is a fitting reward for their magnificent performances on the Asian Tour and across the globe over the past two seasons,” he said.
“We expect them to contribute immensely towards the International Team’s attempt to regain the Presidents Cup but ultimately, their presence in a prestigious team event will boost the development of the game in India, Thailand and across Asia. Young golfers will now have another reason to aspire for the top and with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama also in the International Team, it proves that Asian golf has grown in stature and strength. This is another fantastic testament towards the role played by the Asian Tour in developing professional golf in the region.”
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 Supplier), Fuji Xerox (Official Office Solutions Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf, www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.