Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri will cut short his honeymoon in Madagascar for a very good reason – he has earned a prized spot in The Open Championship from July 17-20.
The Indian, ranked 81st in the world, was among 10 golfers who secured their places in the 143rd Open at Royal Liverpool, Hoylake as the highest ranked non-exempt players on the Official World Golf Ranking as of June 30.
Asian Tour honorary member KJ Choi of Korea, ranked 66th, also earned a place in the world’s eldest Major and will make his 15th appearance in The Open.
The 27-year-old Lahiri, who tied the knot with Ipsa Jamwal at the end of May, was caught by surprise when The R&A announced that he was among those who will tee up at Royal Liverpool.
“I am two days into my 10-day honeymoon. In the middle of a tropical rainforest in Madagascar and trying to get back to India now ASAP (as soon as possible). Total chaos. Will have to make it up to the wife big time. Super excited,” said Lahiri.
“Just trying to figure out my movements so that I can get ready for The Open.”
Lahiri will enjoy his second appearance at The Open following a memorable debut in 2012 where he finished tied 31st at Royal Lytham and St Annes and sank a magical hole-in-one during the third round.
The powerful Indian currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit thanks to a memorable season thus far where he won the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters and recorded four other top-10s. After finishing a career high third on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season, he has jumped from 111th to 81st in the world since the start of 2014.
Choi, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, will also go to The Open in good form after enjoying a tied second finish at the Travellers Championship two weeks ago which helped him win a ticket to The Open. The Korean’s his best finish in the Open is joint eighth in 2007.
The Open Championship is golf’s eldest Major. Played since 1860 on links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.