New Delhi: Meditation has proven been the perfect tonic for Anirban Lahiri to stay calm and focussed as he continued his rise onto the higher echelons of the Asian Tour.
Since making his Tour debut in 2008, the talented Indian knocked on the door on several occasions before finally barging through to win the Panasonic Open India at the Delhi Golf Club in 2011.
“Winning the Panasonic Open India last year was definitely one of the highlights for me. I’ll always remember my win at the Delhi Golf Club. This is because I not only managed to win at Delhi Golf Club which I’ve always found it tough in the past but more importantly it was my first win on the Asian Tour,” said Lahiri.
The Delhi Golf Club was once a bane for Lahiri but he showed that he has truly conquered his demons when he won his second Asian Tour title at this year’s SAIL-SBI Open in February at the same venue and credited his victory to meditation.
“I’ve changed my mental attitude towards golf. I’ve become a Vipassna meditation follower on the course and that has helped me stay in the moment,” said Lahiri, who defeated Thailand’s Prom Meesawat in the first play-off hole at the SAIL-SBI Open.
“I was trying not to get ahead of myself and that was one of those few things that helped me to execute things rather than project and think into the future,” he added.
Fresh from his second win, Lahiri made it a memorable two-week stretch when he won the Open Championship IFQ – Asia in Thailand to earn his debut in the year’s third Major in July.
“This is something every player looks forward to. I’m glad we have this opportunity on the Asian Tour. The fact that I have come here and won it is very special to me and I hope that I can make it a memorable one at The Open,” Lahiri said.
India has produced the most Order of Merit winners in Jeev Milkha Singh, who won the crown twice, Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal.
But the number might just grow in the coming years as Lahiri, together with the new generation of Indian golfers including proven winners Gaganjeet Bhullar and Himmat Rai, continue to make their mark on the Asian Tour.
Such is Lahiri’s immense talent and appeal that Panasonic offered him to be its brand ambassador last year, putting him in exclusive company with Japan’s pin-up boy Ryo Ishikawa who is also sponsored by the electronics giant.
“Panasonic has been a great sponsor and I’m happy to be representing them as their ambassador as well,” he said.
Having already won two Asian Tour titles on home soil, Lahiri is now setting the bar higher as he aims to claim a first victory outside of India.
“I have come close to winning abroad so it doesn’t mean that I have a lack in belief that I can’t contend abroad. Winning abroad is very critical,” said Lahiri.
“All my previous finishes have been good outside of India. I’m beginning to find my game again. I lost it in the second half of last year. I got a little muddled in the head. I got more clarity now and if I can focus, hopefully I can get into contention more often.”