Anirban Lahiri has been named The European Tour Race to Dubai Golfer of the month for February following the incredible run of form that saw the 27-year-old Indian win the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Hero Indian Open in the space of three weeks.
Three months ago Lahiri was battling to win a place on The European Tour at the Qualifying School Final Stage, but his extraordinary February exploits have catapulted him to 34th place on the Official World Golf Ranking and guaranteed him a place at The Masters Tournament.
Nine shots behind leaders Lee Westwood and Alejandro Caizares at the halfway stage of the Maybank Malaysian Open, Lahiri rampaged to victory with weekend rounds of 62-68 at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to burst into the top 50 of the World Ranking.
After a tie for 21st in the True Thailand Classic, Lahiri returned home for the Hero Indian Open and the venue of three of his previous Asian Tour career victories, Delhi Golf Club, where he started the final round seven shots behind countryman SSP Chawrasia.
However, he, found himself in a six-man battle for the title on the back nine, as the swirling, gusting wind combined with the devilish layout of the Delhi Golf Club to wreak havoc on the field.
In the end, after respective final round scores of 69 and 76, Lahiri and Chawrasia returned to the 18th hole for a sudden-death play-off to determine the winner. Lahiri’s birdie could not be matched and the man from Bangalore completed a career-changing three-week run to join the golfing elite.
“It’s amazing, the whole world is open to me now,” said Lahiri. “If you think back to November, with six holes to play of the 108-hole Qualifying School, I was outside the qualifying places for the first time that week.
“I knew I needed to do something, and I birdied two of my last five holes to get my card. To be now talking about playing in the Masters is the stuff of dreams. I have to stay focussed and try to ride the momentum of this moment because it’s not all the time something special like that happens in a player’s career. There is element of luck, but I need to keep playing well and see where it takes me,” he added.
“It’s been an amazing journey so far, and hopefully I can win a few more Golfer of the Month Awards along the way.” Lahiri joins Danny Willett (December) and Gary Stal (January) as a winner of The Race to Dubai Golfer of the Month Award in the 2015 season.