Lahiri eyes Malaysian double
Asian number one Anirban Lahiri is confident of clinching a unique Malaysian double when he tees off at this month's CIMB Classic.
The 28-year-old has had something of a breakout year, winning twice on the Asian Tour, finishing a career-high fifth in one of the sport's majors – the PGA Championship – and qualifying for the President's Cup for the first time.
Despite his stellar 2015 campaign on the Asian Tour, Lahiri is hopeful that a return to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Clubs West course will see him lift his second trophy there, having won the Malaysian Open earlier this year at the same course.
A strong performance at the Asian and PGA Tour co-sanctioned CIMB Classic will also see him be crowned Asian Tour Order of Merit champion for the first time.
"It's probably going to be one of the most important events of the year for me," the world number 40 told the Asian Tour.
"Going to back to Malaysia for the CIMB Classic will be great especially after what happened at the Malaysian Open. It'll be an opportunity for me to challenge again. I remember I didn't score well in the first two rounds and then I shot a third round 62 which stood out and put me right back in the hunt. I played really solid on the back nine on Sunday and making the putt on 17 (for birdie and the lead) was a magic moment.
"Coming in joint fifth at the PGA Championship, it's been fantastic. There was so much that I took away from the week. The confidence and self-belief that I gained and earning the respect of the best players in the world – that's not easily done," said Lahiri, who has seven wins on the Asian Tour.
"When you can do that, you want to snowball it and play better consistently. That's going to be my next effort. You have worked on the game and maintain the high level of play. You're not scared."
Lahiri is of the opinion that approximately 10 Asian Tour players will feature at the October 29 to November 1 event and that several of them have an opportunity to walk away with the title.
"It's a great opportunity for all of us and you're exposed to a different level of golf. Cameron Smith did great by finishing fifth last year while Prom Meesawat and Angelo Que also had top-10 finishes. It was a great sign and fantastic for us to see. They matched the PGA Tour players shot for shot. We have the talent and ability in Asia. We don't get overwhelmed anymore," he added.
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