Know Your Indian Olympian: 10 things to know about Anirban Lahiri
Anirban Lahiri is one of the upcoming stars in the world of golf, and is considered to be the face of Indian golf by many. The 29-year-old will be representing India at the Rio Olympics 2016 in men's individual event in the sport of Golf with Shiv Chawrasia. Let us now take a look at 10 facts about the player:
#1 Anirban Lahiri was born on 29 June 1987 in Pune, Maharashtra. He learnt to play golf at the age of eight and credits his father, Dr.Tushar Lahiri for teaching him the basics of the game. Dr.Lahiri is a physician who works in the Indian Army and is a recreational golfer himself.
"I would just go out there and I would go pick up golf balls for him, and we would go chip, putt for 15 minutes because it was getting dark. That's how it all started. "
#2 He participated in his first tournament at the age of 12 as a junior player, at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club. He finished fifth in the eight players event, and fell in love with the sport and thought of becoming a professional golf player, and that is how his journey began.
“It was fantastic. My dad, he’s always been very inspirational. He said to me, ‘Look at it this way: doesn’t matter how you play; you’re going to have the opportunity to play four days on such a beautiful golf course, which you won’t get otherwise, so why don’t you just enjoy yourself?’ I think that’s the same attitude that I keep with me.”
#3 Being an army kid, he had to move frequently and considers himself to be a multicultural person. With both his parents being Bengali, he loves the food and culture of the place. He loves Punjabi food and has been staying in Bangalore for more than a decade now. He believes staying in different parts of the country has made him a better person, and helped him respect other cultures and traditions. He married his long-time partner Ipsa Jaiswal in May, 2014.
"I'm really proud of the fact that I'm a more national Indian, so to speak—I’m equally comfortable with different languages, cultures, foods. I think that's one of the aspects of being an army kid. It is one thing that is common among almost every army brat. It’s almost like we are a culture of our own."
#4 The world number 62 has a carrer-best ranking of 33 and has participated in 59 events so far with total points of 111.39. He has won many tournaments like Hero Indian Open (2015), SAIL-SBI Open (2012 and 2013), Maybank Malaysian Open (2015) and Venetian Macau Open (2014) to name a few.
#5 His decent and consistent performances all through the 2014 season helped him to break into the top 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in March 2014. His season included two victories on the Asian Tour, as he won the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters and Venetian Macau Open.
#6 He believes golf to be one of the most frustrating games that require a lot of patience. He trains himself mentally by meditating quite often and does breathing exercises before to keep himself mentally and physically positive.
“Golf is probably one of the most frustrating sports you can play. You have to train mentally, try to understand how to deal with things not going your way and to take the positives out of what you’ve done.
I’ve had to work on my temperament, and I think it’s improved. I meditate a lot. You go through ups and downs, and you learn that you just have to ride them.”
#7 He qualified for his first major tournament at the 2012 Open Championship at the Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club in Lancashire. He had a memorable debut as he made the cut (68-72) and followed it with a hole-in-one at the par-3 9th hole in the third round, and had a T31 finish at the event.
#8 Lahiri claimed his first official win on the European Tour after a great show at the Maybank Malaysian Open in February 2015. He won his second event on the Tour the same month, by winning the Hero Indian Open in India. He broke into the Top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking on the basis of these two wins, and also qualified for the 2015 Masters Tournament. He became the third Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh and Arjun Atwal to play at the Masters.
#9 He won the PGA of America’s pre-tournament long drive contest in August 2015, which fetched him a gold money clip and a $25,000 charitable donation. His stupendous performance at the event helped him set many records for an Indian golfer. He had the best round by an Indian at any major with his five-under 67 in the second round.
He also became the first Indian to shoot sub-par scores in all four rounds in a major.
#10 He earned the honor of becoming the first Indian to be named in the Presidents Cup squad in 2015. He had an excellent performance at the Dean &DeLuca Invitational, and had his first top-10 with a T-6 finish at the event.