Lahiri banks on familiarity for Hong Kong Open

Hong Kong: Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri is hoping to take advantage of his familiarity with the Golf Club here in his bid to win his first title outside India at the USD 1.3 million Hong Kong Open next week.

The 26-year-old believes the course set-up at the Hong Kong Golf Club suits his playing style and is similar to his home venue where he has won thrice.

"There are a few tracks which are similar to character to the Delhi Golf Club and the Hong Kong Golf Club is another course which is similar to that. It`s a really good course which has withstood the test of time," he said.

"It`s a great track and another one of those classic tracks with lots of trees, small and elevated greens. You`ll need to control your shots from off the tees and you`ve got to come in from the right spots and right angles," added Lahiri.

Lahiri, a three-time Asian Tour winner, will be rated as one of the genuine contenders at Hong Kong`s oldest professional sporting event, having enjoyed a fantastic run of results since the beginning of the year.

The Indian started the year on a winning note by sealing his third Asian Tour title on home soil and followed that up with four top-10s which included three runner-up finishes.

He will now launch another attempt of getting his first win abroad at the Hong Kong showpiece which takes place from Dec 5 to 8.

"I do look forward to going there (Hong Kong) and the weather will also be good during that time of the year. I`m just trying to win the next event that I can, wherever it is. I`m sure I will. I just have to stay patient. I have done something right this year, winning once and finished second three times," said Lahiri.

"I need to keep going and stay patient. I`ve had some decent finishes in HK, some good rounds and some mediocre rounds, so it`ll be a good opportunity to get things right," added the Indian, who finished tied-55th in the 2011 edition.

The event is Hong Kong`s oldest professional sporting event where its early beginning dates back to 1959. It is co-sanctioned by The European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Hong Kong Golf Association.

The Hong Kong Open is the third event of The 2014 Race to Dubai, and one of the last on the 2013 Asian Tour schedule.
Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain will defend the title he won in record-breaking fashion 12 months ago when he became the oldest winner in European Tour history at the age of 48 years and 318 days.

Other likely contenders at the Hong Kong Open include China`s Liang Wen-chong and teen prodigy Guan Tian-lang, Bangladesh`s Siddikur Rahman and Australia`s Scott Hend who has already recorded the most number of wins with three victories on the region`s premier Tour this season.