Anirban Lahiri eager to taste first win on American soil
Miami, March 2 (IANS)
Star Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri hopes his debut at this week's $9.25 million World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship will lead him a step closer towards his dream of becoming India's first Major champion. The 27-year-old Lahiri, the current Asian Tour number one, won the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open in a span of three weeks last month. He also rose to to 34th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
His ranking puts him in position to play in all four Majors and qualify for the International team for the Presidents Cup this season.
However, an appearance at the Trump National Doral in Miami this week will offer a litmus test on Lahiri's rapid rise onto the world stage. But the Indian is prepared to stick to his learning curve.
In his first WGC appearance at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai last year, Lahiri finished tied 28th.
"There'll be a lot of firsts for me ... I'm really eager for all that. It's exciting times ahead and I'll approach them in a similar manner. I'm trying to get better every day and will continue to work hard at improving my skills," he said.
"One of the main things is to gain the experience of playing in the Majors and WGCs, playing well in them and in different conditions. It's all about learning as I go along and hopefully maybe I can get into the top-10 and vie for the number one spot," added Lahiri, who is a seven-time Asian Tour winner.
"I just need to keep playing well and keep playing more in the big events to build up my confidence and ability to compete against the top players."
His recent exploits - which makes him one of the hottest players on planet golf as he has now racked up four wins in the past 10 months - have seen him draw media interest from all over the world, especially from the United States.
"It's quite amazing so much has changed. I didn't expect to be in this situation that I am now," Lahiri said in an Asian Tour release.
"I'm happy it's come and it's a fantastic time. I'm at a point in my career where I hope to move westward and the wins have helped. I'm excited." With India's trailblazers Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh having won tournaments on American and European soil, Lahiri hopes to go one step better and win a Major championship.
He will get a first crack with a maiden appearance at the Masters Tournament next month although Lahiri will be managing his own expectations.
"No doubt, there's massive room for improvement," said Lahiri, who represented India as an amateur before hitting the professional trail in 2007.
"A huge area to make big strides is with my short game and I want to take my fitness level up as well. I know that I need to learn to be comfortable when I am playing in different conditions. There's a lot to improve."
Lahiri will be joined in Doral by last season's Asian Tour Order of Merit champion David Lipsky of the United States and Thai star Thongchai Jaidee.