Golfer Lahiri’s Malaysian performance gives him hope

Golfer Lahiri’s Malaysian performance gives him hope

43Kuala Lumpur, April 21 (IANS) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri is ready to return to the winning trail after enjoying a remarkable Malaysian swing.

The 26-year-old finished tied-10th at the star-studded Malaysian Open Sunday and was also part of Team Asia where he contributed two points to tie with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup here last month.

Lahiri won three of his Asian Tour titles on home soil and his results in recent weeks have given him added motivation to win his first title outside his comfort zone.

“It has been a while since I’ve been playing well. I’m playing well enough to win. I just need to be patient and relaxed and can’t get too far ahead of myself. That’s what I’ve learnt from last week,” said Lahiri.

The Indian enjoyed a fine run at the Malaysian Open after ending the event on eight-under-par 280 thanks largely to a superb performance during the weekend after even-par rounds in the opening two days.

“All in all it was a solid week but I left a lot out there. I’ve been hitting it really good. I hit 16 greens but didn’t make the putts which I needed to. I gave myself a lot of opportunities but couldn’t hole the birdies,” he explained.

“I was a little anxious to do well and really wanted to contend badly. I tried a bit too hard and forced the issue and didn’t focus on what I needed to do. It got better on the weekend and it is good that I’m playing consistently.”

His result at the Malaysian Open, which was won by English Lee Westwood, earned him $50,966, propelling him to fourth on the Order of Merit.

“It is important to get off to a good start on the Order of Merit. I didn’t win the SAIL-SBI Open this year. I need to get up on the rankings as fast as I can. It was a good week to move up,” said Lahiri.

Swede Rikard Karlberg, a two-time Asian Tour winner, enjoyed a tied-fifth finish in Malaysian. The result was worth $98,450 which moved him to the top of the Order of Merit with earnings of $119,450.

New Asian Tour winners Richard T. Lee ($86,633) of Canada and India’s Rashid Khan ($59,637), who both made the weekend rounds in Malaysian, are ranked second and third. Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura, who won his first Asian Tour title last year, is fifth ($54,111) while Spaniard Carlos Pigem is sixth ($47,830).

This week, the Asian Tour travels to the $750,000 Indonesian Masters which will be played at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Asian Tour Order of Merit Top-10

1. Rikard Karlberg (SWE) $119,450
2. Richard T. Lee (CAN) $86,633
3. Rashid Khan (IND) $59,637
4. Anirban Lahiri (IND) $57,150
5. Masahiro Kawamura (JPN) $54,111
6. Carlos Pigem (ESP) $47,830
7. Siddikur Rahman (BAN) $45,091
8. Chawalit Plaphol (THA) $42,100
9. Jbe Kruger (RSA) $40,535
9. Jason Knutzon (USA) $40,535

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