Akron (Ohio): Anirban Lahiri could be the dark horse when the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone tees off this week at the Firestone Golf and Country Club here.
Lahiri, who has played all the Majors and WGC events this year, has been slowly getting into form as his tied-fifth place in the European Masters showed last fortnight.
Lahiri plays the first round with Victor Dubuisson of France, who has had two top-10s in Majors last year and was also runner-up at WGC Matchplay. But the Indian golfer got the better of the hugely touted Frenchman when he beat him in singles on the last and a day earlier. He combined with Siddikur to beat Dubuisson and Joost Luiten in foursomes.
But here at WGC-Bridgestone it will be stroke play and Lahiri will simply focus on his own play. After a great 2014, Lahiri began 2015 in style by winning the Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open, which catapulted him into world's top-50 and earned him a passage into the four Majors and WGC events.
Having realised that he has the game to compete with the best, Lahiri wants to stay on in that elite group and do well.
The 28-year-old Indian ace, who is just outside the 50th place in World Rankings, has shown that he can be a clutch player and realises the importance of next two starts.
After WGC, he tees up at Whistling Straits for the final Major of the year, the PGA Championships. So far he has made cuts at the Masters (T-49) and British Open (T-30) and was T-34 at the WGC-Cadillac Matchplay.
Lahiri plans to make an attempt to get the PGA Card through the Web.Com finals in September.
"The goal is to stay as close to the top-50 and also get into President's Cup (International team). I need to play well and put myself in the team and also improve on my position in Race to Dubai. I plan to play the Web.Com finals, so I will miss some events in Europe," Lahiri said.
At the top Jordan Spieth, who hit world spotlight late last year with wins in successive weeks at Sydney in Australia and Orlando at Hero World Challenge, has kept the tempo going by adding the Masters and US Open this year besides winning two other times on PGA Tour.
Since November 2014, Spieth has won six times, finished in top-10 nine times. In six other starts, he was T-11, twice he was T-17 and once T-30 and missed cuts twice. He will have to engage in battle with British Open champion, Zach Johnson and Rickie Fowler among others.