Looking to win his first Asian Tour title outside the comfort zone of home turf, Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri says he just needs to be patient and relaxed to achieve the target. The 26-year-old finished tied 10th at the star-studded Maybank Malaysian Open on Sunday and he was also part of Team Asia, where he contributed two points, to tie with Europe in the inaugural EurAsia Cup here last month.
Lahiri won three of his Asian Tour titles on home soil and his results in recent weeks have given him added motivation to win his first title outside. "It has been a while since I've been playing well. I feel like I'm playing well enough to win. I just need to be patient and relaxed. I can't get too far ahead of myself. That's what I've learnt from last week," said Lahiri.
Lahiri enjoyed a fine run at the Maybank Malaysian Open after ending the event on eight-under 280, thanks largely to a superb performance during the weekend after even-par rounds in the opening two days. "All in all, it was a solid week but I can't help but feel that I left a lot out there. I've been hitting it really good. I hit 16 greens but didn't make the putts which I needed to. I gave myself a lot of opportunities but couldn't hole the birdies," he explained.
"I was a little anxious to do well (at the start of last week). I was feeling good about my game. I really wanted to contend badly. I tried a bit too hard and forced the issue. I didn't focus on what I needed to do. It got better on the weekend and it is good that I'm playing consistently," Lahiri added.
Lahiri's result at the Maybank Malaysian Open, which was won by Lee Westwood of England, earned him a cool USD 50,966 which propelled him to fourth on the Order of Merit. "It is important to get off to a good start on the Order of Merit. I didn't win the SAIL-SBI Open this year," laughed Lahiri.
"I need to get up on the rankings as fast as I can. It was a good week to move up and I'm glad I played well over the last two days."
Rikard Karlberg of Sweden, a two-time Asian Tour winner, enjoyed a tied fifth finish in the Maybank Malaysian Open. The result was worth USD 98,450 which subsequently moved him to the top of the Order of Merit with earnings of USD 119,450.
New Asian Tour winners Richard T. Lee (USD 86,633) of Canada and Rashid Khan (USD 59,637) of India, who both made the weekend rounds at the Maybank Malaysian Open, are ranked second and third respectively on the Order of Merit.
Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, who won his first title on the Asian Tour last year, is placed fifth on the Order of Merit on USD 54,111 while Carlos Pigem of Spain, playing in his second year on the region's premier Tour, lies in sixth position on USD 47,830.
This week, the Asian Tour travels to the USD 750,000 CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters which will be played at the highly rated Royale Jakarta Golf Club.