New Delhi: Home favourites Anirban Lahiri and Digvijay Singh will return to the scene of their famous victories determined to repeat their success at the USD 300,000 Panasonic Open India at the Delhi Golf Club.
The Panasonic Open India was where Lahiri and Singh earned their career breakthroughs with the former winning his maiden title at the inaugural edition in 2011 and the later emerging victorious last year.
The Delhi Golf Club was once regarded as a bane for Lahiri but he showed that he has truly conquered his demons by winning all three of his Asian Tour titles at the venerable course.
"Obviously playing at Delhi Golf Club is special to me as I`ve won thrice here. This is my fifth tournament in a roll and my match fitness is there. Physically and mentally I`m ready," said the 25-year-old.
While meditation has also proven to be the perfect tonic for Lahiri to stay calm and focussed, the Indian also knows that accuracy rather than distance holds the key when taming the course.
"I`ve got more and more comfortable on this golf course and I seemed to have found my way around here. My Vipassna training has definitely helped me to stay focused but the key is also to stay out of the bushes and hit it onto the fairways at this golf course," said Lahiri.
Since making his debut on the Asian Tour in 2008, Lahiri has been regarded as the next generation of players from India to lead golf in the country to greater heights.
His performances on the region`s premier Tour have since attracted much attention from fans and sponsors including Panasonic which is the title sponsor for this week`s full field Asian Tour event.
"Panasonic is one of my sponsors and it`ll be great if I can put up a strong performance that matches the support that they`ve shown me," said Lahiri.
Meanwhile Singh is looking forward to continue his winning run in a tournament which has rejuvenated his career.
Having gone without a win in the last 12 years since making his Tour debut, Singh was in total control of his game last year, especially with his putting where he needed only 1.47 putts per green in regulation, ranking him first in the category then.
"This golf course has been really kind to me and I really hope that it`ll be even kinder this week. I know this golf course well enough. The way I played those last six holes was an injection of confidence last year and I would like to replicate the same feeling again," said Singh.
"I played four solid rounds of golf in Chiangmai last week. Consistency was what I was looking for then and it`s exactly what I`m looking for again this week," added the 41-year-old.
An adrenaline junkie who often finds his thrills through adventure sports such as biking and skydiving, Singh is ready to face the stiff challenge from the strong field that features no fewer than 14 tournament winners who have a total of over 30 titles between themselves.
Players from over 19 nations are represented in the Panasonic Open India, making it a truly cosmopolitan field.
"Once you`ve jumped off a plane, you don`t feel any pressure especially when you`re standing on the first tee on the last round and in the last group. That really sounds, looks and feels a lot easier!" exclaimed Singh.
The top-three players at the Panasonic Open India will be extended invitations to the Asia-Pacific Panasonic Open, sanctioned by the Asian Tour and Japan Golf Tour Organisation, in Osaka, Japan in September.