Anirban Lahiri looking for US Open berth through Manila meet
Manila, May 14 (IANS) Asian Tour Order of Merit leader Anirban Lahiri of India will be aiming to fulfil his Major ambitions by winning the $300,000 ICTSI Philippine Open, starting Thursday, and thus qualify for the US Open.
The talented Indian, currently ranked 64th on the Official World Golf Ranking, will need a victory at the venerable Wack Wack Golf and Country Club to give himself a chance to break into the top-60 in the world by May 26 to qualify for the US Open in June.
Lahiri will contend for the prestigious title against an elite field which include defending champion Mardan Mamat of Singapore, Angelo Que of the Philippines, a three-time Asian Tour winner and Berry Henson, the 2011 Philippine Open champion.
EurAsia Cup stars Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand and Siddikur Rahman of Bangladesh will also feature in the event, which returns on the Asian Tour Schedule after a one year hiatus, alongside Filipino veteran Antonio Lascuna, Lin Wen-tang of Chinese Taipei and the immensely talented Arnond Vongvanij of Thailand.
Lahiri made his Major debut at the 2012 British Open where he finished tied 31st, highlighted by a magical ace during the third round. He is determined to add another feather in his cap by playing in the year’s second Major tournament.
He is enjoying a hot streak after contributing two points in Team Asia’s draw with Team Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in March, and continued his form by winning the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters last month when he eagled the last hole.
“I’ve been on a great run and I feel like I’m on top of my game. My confidence level is high and I’m really excited to be here. I got a great opportunity to get inside the US Open so this week feels like a US Open qualifying for me,” said the 26-year-old Lahiri.
“When you hit a shot, you don’t think about your goals (qualifying for the US Open). Personally, I’ve been able to take it one shot at a time and you don’t have a choice at Wack Wack because it is very demanding and challenging. I really have to stay focused here,” he said.