Golfer Lahiri set for Presidents Cup debut

Singapore, Sep 8 (IANS) Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri will make his debut at the Presidents Cup in South Korea after qualifying on merit for the International Team to face the United States next month.

Lahiri, the current Asian Tour Order of Merit leader and a two-time winner this season, finished seventh on the International Team rankings. The top-10 players earned automatic spots in the team.

“I can’t describe the feeling because growing up, you look up to events like the Ryder Cup and feel terrible about it as you can’t be a part of something like that. But thankfully, we have the Presidents Cup for us to aim for and it is an achievement to make the team,” said Lahiri, who is currently ranked 40th in the world.

“I know Jeev (Milkha Singh) was really close to getting in one year when he was in the world’s top-50 and unfortunately, he couldn’t due to injury. It would have done a lot of good for golf, not just in India but in Asia.

“I’m looking forward to being a part of the International Team. It’ll be a massive boost for golf in the region. You get so many eyeballs and everybody in America will be watching. To be a part of something historic like that is extremely special. All I want to do is make sure that I get a point for the International Team,” added the Indian, who finished tied fifth at the PGA Championship last month for his best career finish to date in a Major.

Lahiri will join Thongchai Jaidee, Jason Day, Louis Oosthuizen, Adam Scott, Hideki Matsuyama, Branden Grace, Marc Leishman, Charl Schwartzel and Danny Lee in the International Team with captain Nick Price naming two picks later.

The US team will consist of Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Jim Furyk, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Matt Kuchar and Chris Kirk with two more picks to be included.

The Presidents Cup will be held at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club in Incheon from October 6 to 11.

Asian Tour chairman Kyi Hla Han hailed Lahiri for his achievements.

“The Asian Tour is delighted and proud to see our member Anirban Lahiri earn an automatic place in the International Team. It is another feather in the cap for him as Anirban will be the first Indian to play in the Presidents Cup. It is a fitting reward for his magnificent performance on the Asian Tour and across the globe over the past two seasons,” he said.

“We expect them to contribute immensely towards the International Team’s attempt to regain the Presidents Cup but ultimately, their presence will boost the development of the game across Asia.”

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