Nassau (Bahamas): India's top golfer Anirban Lahiri is set to make his debut at the prestigious PGA-sanctioned Hero World Challenge starting here tomorrow as he competes alongside an elite group of 18 players, including world no.1 Jordan Spieth.
Lahiri, who is the brand ambassador of Hero MotoCorp, is the first Indian player to feature in the USD 3.5 million event, which has a USD 1 million winner's prize purse and also carries official World Golf Ranking points. He comes in as a special exemption player along with Bill Haas (US).
Lahiri, 28, earned his PGA TOUR card for the 2015-16 season and made headlines in 2015 after winning twice worldwide, including the Hero Indian Open. He also became the first Indian player to feature in the Presidents Cup in October.
The Pune-born player played all four Majors and World Golf Championships in 2015, and the highlight of the year was a fifth-place finish at the PGA Championships, the best-ever by an Indian.
"Yeah, it's been a very, very important year for me. It's been a great year, lots of firsts. Getting my card for next year in America, playing the Presidents Cup, top five at Whistling Straits. So I've had a highlight-filled year. But just being here at such a great event amongst the best players in the world," Lahiri said at the Albany Golf Course.
"I would like to thank Mr. Munjal and the Tiger Woods Foundation for having me because these are the kind of events and fields that you want to play against every week and I'm really excited. So I'm looking forward to a good week."
Hero MotoCorp Chairman, MD and CEO Pawan Munjal said the world's largest two-wheeler company is responsible for adding to the popularity of golf in India.
"Golf clearly in India has been growing at a very fast pace and we at Hero have a major hand in the development of golf in India. Not just in India, but Hero has been associated with various events across the globe now, and I keep talking about Hero being a sponsor on five different tours concurrently," said Munjal.