New Delhi: Anirban Lahiri, the blue-eyed boy of Indian golf, who will become the first Indian to play the Presidents Cup later this week, has added another feather to his cap. The 28-year-old has achieved the distinction of becoming the third Indian to secure a PGA Tour card. His card on the most lucrative golfing tour in the world was confirmed on Sunday in the Non-members 126-200 category after he claimed 16th place on the Web.com Tour Finals money list.
Lahiri is now eligible to play the full schedule on the PGA TOUR in 2016. Anirban thus follows in the footsteps of Arjun Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh, the two Indians who’ve had PGA Tour cards in the past.
The Bangalore-based Anirban took the golfing world by storm in early 2015 by winning two events (Malaysian Open and Indian Open) in his rookie season on the European Tour. Lahiri’s victories soon catapulted him to his career-high world ranking of 33. His entry into the world’s top-50 had earned him the right to play a limited number of PGA Tour events this year.
Thereafter, Anirban made an impression in both the United States and Europe, with some sterling performances. Lahiri’s sensational run in 2015 reached its crescendo with his record-breaking tied fifth at the PGA Championship which was the best finish by an Indian at a Major. The top-5 at the PGA Championship also helped Anirban secure a berth on the International Team for the Presidents Cup, another first for India.
The world no. 39 is in Korea this week, all set to realize his dream of playing the prestigious Presidents Cup where he’ll be rubbing shoulders with the sport’s leading superstars. Lahiri’s teammates on the International Team include the likes of world no. 2 Jason Day while his opponents in the US Team feature the likes of world no. 1 Jordan Spieth, a double Major winner this year.
Having missed out narrowly at the PGA Championship, Anirban had to play the Web.com Tour Finals in order to bag his card for 2016.
Lahiri’s tied sixth and tied 16th finishes in the first two of the four events in the WCT Finals series were enough for him to seal his card as he earned a total of $49,750.
The seven-time Asian Tour winner is now also in line to claim the 2015 Asian Tour Order of Merit title. He is currently no. 1 in the rankings with earnings of $925,484 for the season, enjoying a huge lead of nearly $550,000.