In a major development, India’s leading golfer Anirban Lahiri has got his card status for the PGA Tour of 2016. Anirban, who is ranked 25thin the world, becomes the only second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh to get this rare distinction. A total of 50 cards are given out at the end of the Web.com Tour finals series.
Lahiri, who won the Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open, which are part of the Asia European Tour events, was thrilled at getting the card. “It is a big boost for me. Getting a card is a major achievement and it is a reward for all the hard work I have put in this year,” he said.
This week, Anirban will compete in the President’s Cup, representing the Rest of the World team, which takes on the US. He also becomes the first Indian ever to represent the Rest of the World team. "This is a dream come true for me. I took a two-week break from the tour in order to prepare myself physically and mentally for this event,” he said.
Anirban is accompanied by his coach, Vijay Divecha in Korea for the week and is keen to make a mark in a team that has a bunch of Asia-born players, including Thongchai Jaidee, recent winner of the European Open, and Danny Lee, who was in the Top-5 at the PGA Tour Championships.
Anirban, who earned $49,750 from his two appearances, in which he finished T-sixth and T-16th, was 16th in the Finals list after removing six players, who had already ensured their card by finishing in Top-25 of the regular season, which ended before four-event Finals.
On his part, Jeev Milkha was all praise for Anirban. "Congratulations to Anirban for achieving what is always a professional golfer's dream that is playing on the PGA Tour. His performances this year have been brilliant. And now he is there for the President's Cup. He is setting new standards and he is great for Indian golf," said Jeev.