Singapore: Anirban Lahiri’s Whistling Straits heroics will ‘inspire a new generation of Asian golfers to take on the world’.
That’s the view of Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han, following Indian Lahiri’s joint fifth-placed finish at the US PGA Championship, the final Major of 2015.
“Anirban is one of our exceptional talents who has emerged from the Asian Tour in recent times. We’ve seen his career progress dramatically from his rookie season in 2008 till today and he has done very well. We are happy for his success,” said Han.
In 2015, the 28-year-old Lahiri has established himself as an outstanding talent with victories in Malaysia and India as well as commendable performances at the Masters Tournament and The Open.
At Whistling Straits, Lahiri closed with a four-under-par 68 for a 13-under 275 aggregate to enjoy his best outing in a Major and surpass countryman Jeev Milkha Singh’s tied ninth finish at the 2008 PGA Championship.
Lahiri, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader, jumped from 53rd to 38th place on the latest Official World Golf Ranking.
His performance among the game’s elite should also secure him his place in Nick Price’s International Team to take on the United States at the Presidents Cup in Korea in October.
“In the past three seasons, Anirban has finished 10th, third and second on our Order of Merit and he is currently the leader this season. It shows his consistency in performing at the highest level in Asia and I’m not surprised to see how well he has performed in the Majors this season, especially at the PGA Championship.
“I believe Anirban will achieve more success internationally and he has the right credentials to lift a Major title in the very near future. He has the ability, the right work ethic and self-confidence to achieve this dream.”
After helping India win the team silver medal in the Asian Games in 2006, Lahiri joined the paid ranks in 2007 and established himself in the sub-continent by winning for the first time on the PGTI Tour in 2009.
Following several other domestic Tour victories, he through on the Asian Tour in 2011, winning the Panasonic Open India and followed up with back-to-back wins at the SAIL Open, which were staged in New Delhi in 2012 and 2013.
Lahiri won his first Asian Tour title outside India at the 2014 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters before going on to win the Venetian Macau Open later in the year. He maintained his hot form with further triumphs at the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open in the space of three weeks in February.
Han said: “Anirban has capitalised on the playing opportunities on the Asian Tour, first winning in our events on his home soil before going on to win around the region. He has developed into a world-class player and the results are showing.
“I am sure Anirban’s exploits will inspire other Asian Tour golfers to have the self-belief that they too can perform well against the best players in the world abroad.”
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