New Delhi: He struggled in the second half of the season gone by but Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri hopes an improved short game will guide him to a successful season this year.
Lahiri enjoyed a dream home victory in the inaugural Panasonic Open India last season but subsequently struggled with his form during the second half of the year, something he believes will improve.
"After a great start to 2011, I let my performance slip in the second half of the year," said Lahiri.
"I struggled to score and my short game and putting left a lot to be desired. I still feel like I'm hitting the ball really good and that a good four days is all it might take to get things going again."
"I recently switched to the belly putter at the Hong Kong Open and I'm in the process of making technical changes to adapt to it. I am focussing a lot on my short game since my scrambling stats have not been good," he added.
Lahiri won the Panasonic Open after defeating countryman Manav Jaini and Mardan Mamat of Singapore in a thrilling play-off at the Delhi Golf Club. The local star will be among a strong Asian Tour line-up in this year's USD 300,000 event slated from March 29 to April 1.
He recalled his career breakthrough with fond memories.
"The first win is always special and there was a lot of relief since I had come close before. It gave me a lot of confidence and belief to take forward with me into my career. The two-year exemption on the Asian Tour is something that all professionals look forward to, simply because it allows you to play freely without thinking about your card," said Lahiri.
After enjoying a three-week break from golf to spend time with his family and friends during the off season, Lahiri is eager to challenge for honours again in the upcoming 2012 season.
"I took my mind off the game for a while. Now with the new season drawing closer, it is back to practice and working out. I have identified areas in my game that need attention and I'm working on making them my strengths. Hopefully by February it all comes together and I can make a solid start to my 2012 season," said the 23-year-old.
Lahiri said playing on the Asian Tour and on the Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) has indeed made him a more accomplished golfer.
"I think Indian golf is getting better and better. The quality of competition on our tour (PGTI) is evidence of that. With more events in India, there are great opportunities for Indian players to get on to the Asian Tour. Chiragh Kumar and Manav Jaini are such examples who have taken the opportunity and made the most of it," said Lahiri.