Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Golf caravan arrives in Malaysia with 13 Indians

Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia have arrived in one of the biggest co-sanctioned events between Asian and European Tours.

By: PTI | Kuala Lumpur |
February 7, 2017 4:57:10 pm
Anirban Lahiri, Anirban Lahiri India, India Anirban Lahiri, Anirban Lahiri India golf, Lahiri India golf, Anirban Lahiri Golf India player, Sports Anirban Lahiri said coming to Malaysia was “like coming back home” for him. (Source: Express File)

The professional golf caravan has moved into the Malaysian capital and with it Anirban Lahiri and SSP Chawrasia have arrived to join a dozen other Indians in one of the biggest co-sanctioned events between Asian and European Tours.

Both SSP Chawrasia, who missed the cut, and Lahiri, who played in Dubai last week and finished tied-19, will have a nice re-union of sorts with the Indian players at the Saujana Golf and Country Resort, which hosts the USD 3 million Maybank Malaysian Championships this week.

The Indians here are a mix of youth and experience and representative of last 20 years of Indian professional golf.

Besides Lahiri and Chawrasia, the two Hero Indian Open champions who are exempt on European Tour till end-2018, Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa — generally referred to as the “Big Three” of Indian golf — Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Rahil Gangjee and Chiragh Kumar will be fighting for top honours.

The tournament will also see the latest lot of Rashid Khan, S Chikkarangappa and Shubhankar Sharma. There is also Mukesh Kumar, who at 51, has been one of the most dominant golfers on Indian domestic scene. He won his first Asian Tour event late last year and is now charged to make a mark on Asian Tour outside India.

The high-quality field this week at the event, which is co-sanctioned by Asian and European Tours, also includes two Masters winners — Charl Schwartzel (2011) and Danny Willett — who defends his Green Jacket this April, and a whole lot of highly ranked Asians and Europeans.

The top Asian Tour names other than Indians include Wang Jeunghun of Korea, Scot Hend of Australia, Thongchai Jaidee, Kiradech Aphinbarnarat, Prom Meesawat and Wu Ashun.

The leading European names include Masters winners, Willett and Schwartzel besides Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood, Alex Levy, Peter Uihlein and Matteo Manassero among others. Lahiri said coming to Malaysia was “like coming back home” for him.

“I won a couple of years ago in Kuala Lumpur. Obviously I’ve played in two EurAsia Cups and so many years on the Asian Tour so it is always a warm welcome for me. I played at Saujana as an amateur many years ago so it is like deja-vu for me again,” Lahiri said.

“I got off to a good start (at CIMB Classic) end of last year in Malaysia. It (the game) has not been as good as I liked it to be. I only played three events this year but I feel like my game is in the right place. I’m making a lot of birdies, which is a good sign. I probably need to tighten my round a bit and put four good rounds together.”

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