Anirban Lahiri climbs to 2nd in Asian Tour Order of Merit

Kuala Lumpur: Rising Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri`s successful consecutive title triumph at the SAIL-SBI Open today helped him climb to the second spot in the Asian Tour Order of Merit.

Lahiri`s walked home with a pay cheque of USD 54,000 which left him approximately USD 800 behind Tour leader Chawalit Plaphol of Thailand, who won the season-opening Zaykabar Myanmar Open.

Lahiri, who finished 10th in the 2012 Order of Merit, is now setting his sights on a first Asian Tour victory outside of India.

The rising star clinched his third Asian Tour title after defeating countryman Rashid Khan on the first play-off hole at USD 300,000 Asian Tour event at the Delhi Golf Club and immediately set a new target in his burgeoning career.

"There`s a need to win always and to get better. There`s a need to perform on every surface on every tour and on every condition. A lot of people ask me questions if I can play abroad and yes I feel I can win abroad as well.

"It is just a matter of the 72 holes coming together and having some luck as well. I`m hoping to win outside of India this year but I won`t mind if I win in India again," said Lahiri, who has now won all his three titles at the Delhi Golf Club.

With his confidence soaring, Lahiri will be among the hot favourites to contend at this week`s Avantha Masters, which is tri-sanctioned by the Asian Tour, European Tour and Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), at the Jaypee Greens course.

"The Indian leg is now turning out to be crucial as it`s early in the year. If you get off to a good start, you can be like Prom (Meesawat) last year where he had a great season finishing up. It`s important to get off to a good start in the Indian swing. I`m looking forward to playing well as Jaypee Greens is one of my favourite courses," said the 25-year-old.