New Delhi, Nov 1: Anirban Lahiri will hold no fear when he vies for the prestigious 50th Indian Open title at the challenging Delhi Golf Club (DGC) next week.
The tree-lined and narrow DGC is rated as one of the most difficult courses on the Asian Tour but Lahiri has enjoyed huge success on the course where he won three Asian Tour titles.
“A lot of the players fear DGC, it’s probably one of the feared courses on tour. I’m comfortable here. For me, the Indian Open has been good, moving from one favourite venue to another. I’m looking forward to a win,” said Lahiri.
Lahiri said that winning his National Open remains as one of his top priorities. He has enjoyed some measure of success at the Indian Open in the past, finishing tied third, 15th and fifth in 2009, 2011 and 2012, respectively.
“It’s going to be a historic event. Everyone mentions it’s such an important event for the Indians, there is so much history and tradition behind it. It’s like a major for all of us. I know Jeev (Milkha Singh), even he wants to win the Indian Open before he retires. That’s what it means to someone like Jeev who has won so many events around the world. Being the 50th year, it’s going to be special,” said the 26-year-old.
Lahiri said the tournament has played a huge part in launching the careers of many Indian golfers including three-time winner Jyoti Randhawa, Arjun Atwal, who is the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour, and C. Muniyappa.
“It would be very special if I can win it. When I was playing junior golf, everyone wanted to turn amateur very quickly as the top amateurs get to play in the Indian Open.”
Lahiri recalls his first experience of watching and playing here.
“I was a spectator and it was good. It was probably in 1999 when Arjun won it in Royal Calcutta. I was probably 11-12. The first Indian Open I played wasn’t so much fun. It was my first pro event in 2007. I missed the cut. Mixed memories,” added Lahiri.
In one of the strongest fields to assemble at the DGC Nov 7-10, multiple Asian Tour winner Atwal, who was the Asian No.1 in 2003, Korea’s Baek Seuk-hyun, locals Bhullar, Shiv Kapur and Bangladeshi Siddikur will be amongst the leading stars challenging for the golden anniversary title.