CHENNAI: October 5, 2015 was a big day for Anirban Lahiri. He had just secured a PGA Tour Card. And in a country where most fail to do that, it was hailed as a big success. But while Lahiri ‘was happy to have got that opportunity,’ he viewed it as ‘Step I’ in his golfing journey on the PGA Tour.
“Getting the card isn’t the goal but getting it is Step I,” he tells Express. “That is just your ticket to an opportunity which is hard enough. Which is why a lot of people make it a goal to get a card there. But for me it’s an opportunity to play there and hopefully win there and be at that level consistently.
“It is definitely at the level at which you want to be competing. You want to playing on the PGA Tour for 5 - 10 - 15 years. My goal has always been to try and get on to the Majors, compete and try and win them. Three of the four Majors are being played in America. Three of the World Golf Championships (WGC) are being played in America. If you are looking to do well, you have to play there and compete against the best,” he explains.
Apart from playing and competing in all the Majors this year, Lahiri finished Tied 5th at the PGA Championships. One of the events which made it ‘the most satisfactory season of my career so far,’ for Lahiri. “I have achieved all the broad goals I set out to achieve this year. I wanted to play and compete in all the four Majors, play at the World Golf Championships, try and win in Europe, try and get my card in America and try to get into the President’s Cup. It’s very rare that you complete almost all your targets. I think I have had a great year,” he says.
Lahiri also had another goal, to take home the Asia Tour’s Order of Merit Award. Needless to say he won it. “I don’t know whether I was expecting to win it but I was expecting to stay in contention. Last year I finished 2nd, two years back I finished third. So there was no lack of belief.”
He also stresses that he is not overawed by the sport’s biggest names. “I think I have started getting over that. Jordan’s (Spieth) a good friend, Jason’s (Day) a good friend. But he doesn’t really pay much attention to their golf if he is in the same tournament. And not without reason. “At the end of the day you need to seperate your golf from the field and focus on what you need to.”
Going by that yardstick, Lahiri is doing rather well.
Lahiri in 2015
Maybank Malaysian Open, 1st
Venetian Macao Open, Tied 2nd
Omega European Masters, 5th
PGA Championship, Tied 5th
UBS Hong Kong Open, Tied 7th
Hotel Fitness Championship, Tied 6th
Small Business Connection Championship at River Run, Tied 16th
Hero World Challenge, Tied 17th