India's Anirban Lahiri hopes to edge closer to the summit of the Asian Tour Order of Merit by winning the US$500,000 Yeangder Tournament Players Championship (TPC) which starts on Thursday.
The four-time Asian Tour winner surrendered his Merit lead to David Lipsky when the American won the Omega European Masters on Sunday, but he is still in the running to win the prestigious Order of Merit title as the Asian Tour heads into the business-end of the season.
He will be in the company of countryman Jyoti Randhawa, defending champion Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, Angelo Que of the Philippines and local hero Lin Wen-tang at the Linkou International Golf and Country Club.
"I had a good result last week," said Lahiri, who finished tied 13th in Switzerland. "It is a good start to the second half of the year. I still have a lot of work to do if I want to challenge for the Order of Merit.
"David's (Lipsky) win makes things interesting on the Order of Merit race. I have to pull up my socks and play my best. It will be good for me because it will motivate me to do better," smiled the 27-year-old Indian.
Lahiri enjoyed a solid start to the year when he won the CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters in April. He also played an integral part in Team Asia's dramatic tie with Team Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup in Malaysia.
"Having one of the Asian Tour members winning in Europe is fantastic. It is a great thing because we had the EurAsia Cup this year and everyone took notice of what the Asian Tour players can do," he said.
Lahiri's success on the Asian Tour where he missed only one cut in eight attempts earned him the opportunity to play in The Open Championship and US PGA Championship. He was also rewarded with the prestigious Arjuna award back home which he received from the President of India two weeks ago. Â
"I have played a little bit over the summer. I played in the two Majors (The Open Championship and PGA Championship) even though I wasn't healthy. I was still a bit rusty in Switzerland but it is still better than previous summers where I didn't play at all. Now I'm looking forward to the next three months. I'm very excited about that," said Lahiri.