Petaling Jaya (Malaysia): Partners for long, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Anirban Lahiri are banking on their experience of playing at the Seri Selangor Golf course to grab one of the three berths for the Omega Mission Hills World Cup.
India is one of the 16 teams playing the qualifying tournament, starting tomorrow.
"This isn`t the first time we are teaming up. This is probably our sixth or seventh time. We have been playing in the team format since we were 15 years old. We are really looking forward to it," said Lahiri.
"We had a good time playing as team partners previously. In 2005, we won the Asian Junior Team Championship for India. In 2006 we won the (silver medal) Asian Games. It is nice to be playing with Gaganjeet on the same team again.
"Experience is necessary but teamwork is more important. Seri Selangor is a very different golf course. You have to get a little lucky and this week will be about good strategy and team work. As far as playing experience goes, both of us know each others game quite well because we have been playing together for over a decade together," he added.
Bhullar, a two-time Asian Tour winner, said he along with Lahiri would be keen to follow the footsteps of Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh in continuing to raise the Indian flag at international level.
"We have played on this golf course for four or five times. Anirban had a good finish here last time. We are both playing well especially Anirban, who had a victory earlier this year. We both are aggressive and we had a lot of success teaming up during our junior and amateur.”
"We are looking forward to playing in the World Cup and we want to follow in the footsteps of Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh in continuing to raise the Indian flag," Bhullar said.
The format of competition will be the same as the Omega Mission Hills World Cup, with four-ball (better ball) being played in the first and third rounds and foursomes (alternate shot) used in the second and final rounds.
The local Malaysian challenge will be led by Iain Steel, who believes his newly-formed partnership with Shaaban Hussin will be the ideal tonic to push Malaysia into their first Omega Mission Hills World Cup appearance in 10 years.
Singapore, led by Mardan Mamat and Lam Chih Bing and winners of the 2009 Asian Qualifying and the Philippines, powered by veterans Mars Pucay and Antonio Lascuna are among those expected to shine this week.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh withdrew from the qualifier as Siddikur did not make the trip to Malaysia following an illness to his father in Dhaka.