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Golf: Lahiri stretches lead in Asian Tour Order of Merit

Anirban Lahiri is looking to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit for the first time.

Anirban Lahiri is looking to win the Asian Tour Order of Merit for the first time.

July 27, 2015: Anirban Lahiri has stretched his lead in the Asian Tour Order of Merit to US$548,348 following his fifth-place finish at the Omega European Masters in Switzerland.

 

The 28-year-old, who has won in Malaysia and at home in India this season, picked up a cheque of US$123,956 to raise his season’s tally to US$925,484, increasing his lead over second-placed Andrew Dodt of Australia, who shared 53rd position in Crans Montana.

 

SSP Chawrasia of India is third on the money list with US$267,244, followed by Australian Scott Hend on US$258,781 and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand on US$232,740.

 

After ending the last two seasons in third and second place on the Order of Merit, Lahiri is pushing hard to become the fourth Indian golfer to win the money list.

 

Lahiri is also aiming to become only the third player in Asian Tour history to surpass the US$1 million earnings barrier in a single season, achieved by countryman Jeev Milkha Singh and Kiradech Aphibarnrat of Thailand.

 

“I’m going to play in at least four to five events on the Asian Tour towards the end of the year,” Lahiri said.

 

“Hopefully I can keep playing well and it’ll be nice to finally get over the line. I finished third in 2013 and second last year, so winning the Order of Merit this year would be nice.”

 

He carded rounds 67, 67, 70 and 64 to finish five shots behind winner Danny Willett of England, who triumphed in the co-sanctioned Asian Tour and European Tour tournament by a single shot.

 

It was Lahiri’s first top-10 finish following his purple patch in February where he won the Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open in a span of three weeks.

 

With several big-money events coming up towards the end of the year, including the CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions, Lahiri was delighted to hit top form in Switzerland, especially during the final round.

 

“I’m happy to be playing well again. I had a very good start to the year and played well in the beginning, but I didn’t play anywhere near my best after that,” said Lahiri, who finished tied 30th at The Open Championship at St Andrews

 

“I feel like my form is coming back. It’s an important time of the year and hopefully I can keep this going.”

 

Lahiri will recharge his batteries this week before flying out to the USA for next month’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, which is the final major of the season.

 

After slipping to World No. 61 last week from a high of 34 earlier in the season, Lahiri is again looking to crack the top 50 following his top-five outing in Switzerland.

 

It will also enhance his hopes of qualifying for the International Team for the Presidents Cup to face the USA in Korea in October, having slipped out of the automatic top-10 selection list last week.

 

Asian Tour Order of Merit – Top-20

1. Anirban LAHIRI (IND) 925,484

2. Andrew DODT (AUS) 377,136

3. S.S.P. CHAWRASIA (IND) 267,244

4. Scott HEND (AUS) 258,781

5. Thongchai JAIDEE (THA) 232,740

6. Richard T. LEE (CAN) 213,096

7. Cameron SMITH (AUS) 203,518

8. Marcus FRASER (AUS) 181,299

9. Paul PETERSON (USA) 162,133

10. Prayad MARKSAENG (THA) 160,800

11. Mardan MAMAT (SIN) 138,269

12. Carlos PIGEM (ESP) 114,432

13. Chapchai NIRAT (THA) 111,105

14. Nathan HOLMAN (AUS) 109,776

15. Wade ORMSBY (AUS) 109,700

16. Thanyakon KHRONGPHA (THA) 104,785

17. Jason KNUTZON (USA) 103,009

18. Mithun PERERA (SRI) 95,518

19. Jeunghun WANG (KOR) 86,301

20. Kiradech APHIBARNRAT (THA) 84,933

 

Source: Asian Tour (www.asiantour.com); Editing by SportAsia

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