After achieving his target of cracking world’s top 50 within three years, India’s Anirban Lahiri is now hoping to fulfil his childhood dream of winning the USD 1.5 million Hero Indian Open starting Thursday.
The Indian ace, who clinched the Maybank Malaysian Open two weeks ago, recalls watching Arjun Atwal win the prestigious event in 1999 and since then it has been his goal to win his national open.
“My first memory of the Indian Open is walking in Calcutta Golf Club when I was 12. Arjun Atwal won that event and I still remember some of the shots he hit. I was just a kid and I didn’t even play golf seriously! I thought to myself that it would be so great to be one of those guys,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri, who is the highest ranked player in the elite field where he sits in 39th position on the Official World Golf Ranking, will also challenge for top honours at the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) against title holder Siddikur Rahman and Spain legend Miguel Angel Jimenez, who returns to India for the first time since 2008.
Scott Hend of Australia, a six-time Asian Tour winner, Jyoti Randhawa, only the second player to win three Indian Open titles, Thaworn Wiratchant, Jeev Milkha Singh and Marcus Fraser will also feature in the event which is sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour for the first time.
“It’s great to compete with the legends. We are the current generation and I think we have a chance of winning this week,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri, who won three Asian Tour titles at DGC, said: “We have four Asian Tour members win the last four co-sanctioned events. It will be nice to continue that streak. It is nice to have so many of our members winning events but I would like to say that I want an Indian to keep this trophy on home soil.
“I have good memories at the DGC. I finished second last year and won few tournaments here. So I feel comfortable at DGC. So good to comeback. I am feeling positive but you have to start from the stretch again. So hope I can win this time," Lahiri said.