Kuala Lumpur: After getting to the top of the Asian Tour Order of Merit, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri has now set himself another goal of maintaining the numero uno position till the end of 2014 season.
The 26-year-old Lahiri claimed a stunning victory at the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters yesterday after producing a superb eagle on the 72nd, which raised his season`s earnings to USD 192,150. Although it is early days yet, getting to the top of the Merit list was satisfying for Lahiri, whose world ranking also rose to a career high 67th place after he collected 20 points for his fourth Asian Tour success, and first outside of India.
"It feels great to be top on the Asian Tour Order of Merit right now. One of my goals at the beginning of this year was to contend for the Order of Merit. I am glad I got off to a good start," said Lahiri. "I just have to keep focusing on playing good golf and keep getting better as the year progresses." Since joining the Asian Tour in 2008, the talented Indian has enjoyed a meteoric rise where he won three titles on home soil before his Indonesian triumph and Lahiri said the victory meant a lot to him.
"I needed the world ranking points so I am really happy I won. I think I played much better than my score. I hit the ball well all week. I played really solid and this victory means a lot to me," he added. Last month, Lahiri contributed immensely for Team Asia in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia in the memorable draw with Europe where he contributed two points. Two weeks after the Ryder Cup style event, Lahiri was again in the spotlight when he finished equal 10th at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
"The EurAsia Cup was a very special event for me. I am happy to see my game go up another level after the EurAsia Cup. It was a huge confidence booster," he said. Outside the ropes, Lahiri`s personal life is also on the upswing as he prepares for his marriage next month to long-time girlfriend Ipsa Jamwal.
"Yes I am getting married and I am very happy about what`s happening in my personal life. I would still be very happy and excited about my marriage if I did not win this week. Obviously now that I have won, it`s like the icing on the cake!" Lahiri smiled. India`s has two other?players Rashid Khan, winner of SAIL-SBI Open and SSP Chowrasia, winner of two joint-sanctioned events in the past, in the top-10 of the Money list.
Rashid is lying fourth with earnings of USD 75,687 and Chowrasia is seventh with USD 58,695. Rashid was ninth at Indonesian Masters, while Chowrasia was tied fifth. The Asian Tour travels to The Championship in Singapore this week. The USD 1.5 million event, joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, will be played at the Laguna National Golf and Country Club starting on Thursday.