Chonburi (Thailand): Anirban Lahiri of India admits he is running low on gas as he continues to chase Order of Merit leader David Lipsky of the United States at the Thailand Golf Championship which starts here on Thursday.
The talented Indian, who is a five-time Asian Tour winner, will play in his ninth straight week at the USD 1 million Asian Tour event, where he aims to narrow the gap on Lipsky, who leads on the Merit rankings by slightly over USD 130,000.
Thailand's Prom Meesawat is also in the hunt for the prestigious Order of Merit crown. He needs to win or finish second this week while Lipsky and Lahiri miss the weekend rounds or finish poorly. The Order of Merit race will then go down the wire in Dubai next week.
"I'm a bit low on gas right now but I've been smart in how I've been preparing for my events. I've cut down on my preparations leading up to an event so I can rest a bit more. I'm quite happy with how I'm feeling physically. This is probably the first time I'm doing nine weeks," said Lahiri.
The 27-year-old Lahiri will be amongst the leading lights gathered at the majestic Amata Spring Country Club, who include defending champion Sergio Garcia, two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, reigning US Open champion Martin Kaymer, Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westwood and Victor Dubuisson, 2011 The Open champion Darren Clarke and three-time Asian Tour number one Thongchai Jaidee.
Currently ranked 71st on the Official World Golf Ranking, Lahiri is determined to put up another fine performance at the Thailand Golf Championship where he finished tied fourth last year.
This year's Thailand Golf Championship will also afford the leading four players, who finish in the top-12 and ties and who are not already exempt, a place at The Open from 16-19 July, 2015.
"I'm trying to chase so many targets down. I'm trying to chase the Order of Merit crown and breaking into the top-50 in the world. There is so much to play for and a lot at stake. It is funny because there are so many different targets. At the end of the day, all you have to do is play good golf and it takes care of everything," said Lahiri.
Korean-American Lipsky secured a sixth place result in Indonesia last week to stay in the driver's seat for Asia's top prize where he leads with earnings of USD 707,585.
"I hope to lock it up and have an unassailable lead by the end of the week. I already have a pretty good lead right now and if I continue to play well, which I'm already doing, it should take care of business," said Lipsky.
He believes the pressure is mounting on Lahiri and Prom. "Anirban and Prom would really need to play pretty well this week in order to catch me and give themselves a chance for next week. As long as I play solid, that?s all that matters," added Lipsky.
Prom, who pulled out from last week's event because of a back injury, is racing against time to recover from a muscle strain. "My body is not get 100% recovered yet but my heart says I'm ready! I'm very disappointed I didn't get a chance to try and catch up with David and Anirban on the Order of Merit last week. Hopefully I can have a good opportunity to have a good result," said Prom.