Anirban Lahiri wins 2015 Hero Indian Open


February 22, 2015

Anirban Lahiri wins 2015 Hero Indian Open

Anirban Lahiri wins 2015 Hero Indian Open.  (Photo - www.europeantour.com)

• His second European Tour International Schedule victory in his 41st European Tour event.

• Could move to just outside the 30 of the Official World Golf Ranking, from 39th.

• This is his second European Tour victory of the season, following the Maybank Malaysian Open.

• Becomes the second multiple winner of the 2015 season. They are: Branden Grace (Alfred Dunhill Championship and Commercial Bank Qatar Masters) and Anirban Lahiri (Maybank Malaysian Open and Hero Indian Open).

• Wins his second title in the space of three tournaments.

• Graduated from the 2014 European Tour Qualifying School. Is the first Qualifying School graduate to record multiple victories the year after graduation since Branden Grace in 2012, who won the Joburg Open and then the Volvo Golf Championship. (The South African went on to win a further twice in that season).

• Joins Gordon Brand Jnr (twice in 1982), José María Olazábal (twice in 1986), Johan Edfors (three times in 2006) and Branden Grace (four times in 2012), as Qualifying School graduates to record multiple victories the year after graduation.

• Is in his rookie season on The European Tour. Is the third Qualifying School rookie to win twice the year after graduation, following Gordon Brand Jnr (1982), José María Olazábal (1986).

• Follows Gordon Brand Jnr (1982), José María Olazábal (1986), Stephen Leaney (1998) and Sergio Garcia (1999), as rookies to record multiple victories. (Leaney was a Challenge Tour graduate and Garcia joined as an affiliate member).

• Becomes the second Indian to record multiple victories in the same European Tour season, following Jeev Milkha Singh in 2006 at the Volvo China Open (April 2006) and Volvo Masters.

OTHER FACTS

• Began the day seven shots behind S S P Chawrasia. Would become the sixth winner this season to triumph after making up a final round deficit. He won the Maybank Malaysian Open after making up five shots with 18 holes to play.

• Becomes the 11th Indian victory in European Tour history.

• The first time since 2008 that India have recorded multiple victories in the same European Tour season. In 2008, India won three times.

• Has won his first two European Tour titles on Asian soil. The first player to achieve this feat since Andrew Dodt, who won the 2010 Avantha Masters and 2015 True Thailand Classic presented by Black Mountain.

• The first Indian to win the Hero Indian Open since Chinnaswamy Muniyappa in 2009.

• Becomes just the eighth different Indian to win the Hero Indian Open since the event was first played in 1964.

• The fourth time he has won at event at the Delhi Golf Club in a play-off. The previous three were the 2011 Panasonic Open India, 2012 and 2013  SAIL –SBI Open.

• Becomes the 49th victory overall by a Qualifying School graduate the year after graduation.

• Gains his 15th win as a professional.

* Thanks to European Tour.

India’s Aniban Lahiri is 2015 Maybank Open Golf Champion


February 8, 2015

India’s Aniban Lahiri wins 2015 Maybank Open Golf

Maybank Open Golf 2015

Anirban Lahiri’s early birdie blitz saw him snatch the  2015 Maybank Malaysian Open from Bernd Wiesberger of Austria in a dramatic finish at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club.

The 27-year-old golf professional from India birdied four of his first five holes and held his nerve down the closing stretch as a final round 68 gave him a 16 under par total and one shot victory.Lahiri’s maiden European Tour title comes just three months after coming through Qualifying School, and is all the more remarkable given he was outside the top 20 at the halfway stage.

A sensational ten under par 62 on Saturday gave him a chance, but in-form Wiesberger appeared a clear favourite when he started the day two shots clear of Alejandro Cañizares and five ahead of the eventual winner.

The Austrian, who climbed into the Official World Golf Ranking’s top 50 for the first time by finishing sixth, third and fourth in the three Desert Swing events, even birdied the first two holes on Sunday – both courtesy of eight foot putts.

Wiesberger at Maybank 2015 Golf Open

But, after laying up at the par five, Wiesberger (above) chunked his third into the water at the fifth and ran up a double bogey seven to blow the title race wide open.

After converting from 18 feet at the first and a par the second, Lahiri, who already had five titles on the co-sanctioning Asian Tour, tapped in at the third, holed from ten feet at the fourth and pitched to six feet at the fifth for a hat-trick of gains that left him just one behind.

With the breeze picking up, Wiesberger was happy to head to the turn with a run of pars, and it was enough to restore his two shot advantage as Lahiri did well to escape the ninth with a bogey after almost finding water off the tee.Lahiri reduced the gap to one again with a birdie from 12 feet at the tenth, and although Wiesberger paid the price for missing the fairway at the 12th, where there was just one birdie all day, up ahead Lahiri dropped a shot from the sand at the 13th – where there were no birdies on Sunday and the field were a collective 31 over par.

Wiesberger did well to salvage his four there after driving into the trees, but paid for another errant tee shot at the 14th when he failed to get up-and-down from behind the green.The Austrian did manage to rescue par from a green side bunker at the 15th, but Lahiri rolled in a 40 foot putt from off the green at the 17th to snatch the outright lead for the first time and, although Wiesberger birdied the 16th from inside five feet, he made a mess of his approach to the next to hand the shot straight back.

Lahiri found sand at the last but scrambled par and, when Wiesberger left his 20 foot birdie effort agonisingly short, the World Number 73 was confirmed as champion – with a place in the game’s top 50 and a potential Masters Tournament invite among his rewards along with the €439,796 winner’s cheque.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in just yet,” said Lahiri. “But I’m pretty sure when it hits home it’s going to be a really happy moment for me.

“I think I’ve got a bad habit of making it hard for myself, but I’m happy I got over the line, as ugly as it was towards the end. The Masters is definitely one of my targets. I don’t know how far I’ll move up, but I’m pretty confident now with this win I should have a pretty good chance.”

Of Saturday’s 62, he added: “In hindsight that was one of the most crucial rounds of my career and it’s fantastic when you play well at the right times.”A fourth top-ten finish in a row moves Wiesberger into the top five on The Race to Dubai, but the 29-year-old was left to rue the errors in his closing 74.“It hasn’t quite finished the way I intended to,” said Wiesberger.

“After the hiccup on five, I didn’t hit it anywhere near as good as the last 15 rounds. It’s tough to say, but it is what it is and unfortunately I beat myself out of it today.

“I hit a bad lay-up, flew a lot on the downhill lie and my mind wasn’t there; I hit a bad shot and needed to miss it long and take par and get on with it. It’s disappointing.

“I just didn’t trust my swing enough which was good the last couple of weeks. It’s still a good week, and congratulations to Anirban who played a lovely round today. I will try again.”

alejandro-canizaresSpain’s Alejandro Canizares

England’s Paul Waring and Spain’s Cañizares were also over par for the day, but finished tied for third on 13 under, while the anticipated challenge of defending champion Lee Westwood never materialised after the former World Number One double bogeyed the second en route to a round of 75 and share of fifth

http://www.europeantour.com

Floods: The Watershed for Change in Malaysia?


January 2, 2015

Floods: The Watershed for Change in Malaysia?

by A Kadir Jasin

http://kadirjasin.blogspot.com/2015/01/banjir-is-watershed-for-change.html

AK JasinDEBATER Ismail Muda had the following to say – “Dari sudut politik, kita amat berharap akan muncul pemimpin baru yg lebih berwawasan berkaliber dan penuh tanggongjwab membetulkan segala kepesongan.”

Translated, it says, from the political angle, we are very hopeful that a new leader with calibre, vision and sense of responsibility will emerge to put right all the wrong.

I am afraid his statement typifies the dissatisfaction of many Malaysians with the leadership of Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak and his merry men and women – not all but many.

The “banjir besar” (big floods) could have been the ultimate opportunity for them to rise to the challenge and prove to the people far and wide that they are concerned and capable.

Instead the Prime Minister himself had chosen to put his so-called “golf diplomacy” with US President Barrack Obama ahead of the flood victims and played hide and seek with the rakyat on the whereabouts of the government jet he used to travel to Hawaii and also the whereabouts of his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Najib and Rosmah

On the positive side, despite the extent of the floods the lost of lives had been minimal. More people died in a New Year stampede in China! Still the lost of properties, sources of income and economic opportunities are significant and will take time to recover.

The Malays have a saying that “sekali air bah, sekali pasir berubah.” It means, each time it floods the sandbank would move. If that saying holds true, I believe the wave of change will only get stronger. UMNO has to do something about its President and Prime Minister if it wants to stop the situation from getting worse. Like the sandbank, it could be swept away the next general elections.

The big floods may be the watershed that we are hoping for. They may spell the beginning of the end of a mediocre leadership. That old Malay wisdom about the banjir and the pasir could very well have a literal meaning for Mohd Najib.

The Beginning of the End?

Mahathir-Vs-NajibIt is a watershed and an ominous one when the rakyat, through the blogs, the independent news portal and the social media outlets, discovered that the PM was golfing in Hawaii while a quarter million people were flooded out of their homes, they asked, does the PM care?

No amount of explanations and attempts to gloss over the Hawaiian misstep by his propaganda machines will restore the Prime Minister’s image as a caring leader. His “rakyat didahulukan” (people first) slogan is a sham.

His RM500-million allocation and the speeding up of 1Malaysia People Assistance (BR1M) may help to mend fences with the rural poor but is unlikely to appease his critics and detractors.

His psychological warfare onslaught is farcical. For instance, in calling for his ministers, who were also holidaying abroad, to come home, the Prime Minister was proving the social media right that some members of his cabinet were more concerned with their holidays than the well-being of the people who elected them.

In seeking to placate the people, the PM is clearly being poorly advised his psychological warfare specialists, of whom we know there are many. The instruction to his holidaying ministers to come home should not have been made public. It makes it to sounds like “bapa borek anak rintik” – like father like son.

For UMNO and the Barisan Nasional, a change has to happen. If it does not happen, the situation can only get worse and the grand old coalition may finally succumb to old age. Like the Romans who had to choose between Caesar and Rome, the time has come for UMNO and BN to choose between Mohd Najib and Putrajaya.

The Buck Stops with the PM

An aerial view of flooded streets of the National Park in Kuala Tahan, PahangNO matter how we look at the handling of the big floods in particular and the administration of the country in general, we have to be very clear that the buck stops with the Prime Minister.

We cannot hope to have a motivated, committed and transparent civil service, the Police, the Military and, above all, the populace if the man at the top does not display the same motivation, commitment and transparency.

Can the “golf diplomacy” not wait? Would Obama be fuming mad if Mohd Najib told him that he could not come because his country is suffering big floods?

Manek_Urai_floods_Bomba_251214How many more disasters and tragedies do we need before we dare judge our government, our leaders and our Prime Minister and say, enough is enough? Just ask ourselves do we still believe in “Malaysia Boleh”? Does people first, performance now slogan has any meaning?

By the look of things, the future does not hold great promise for the rakyat jelata (the populace) if this situation continues. And unless UMNO and the BN have lost all sensibilities and bearings, they would by now know that the future does not hold a great promise for them either.

They can pretend and continue to be in a state of denial, but the record of the last few years does not speak well of their performance and their endearment with the rakyat.

The Heavy Price of Denial

najib-1malaysia

I am sorry to have to say this. UMNO and BN can keep the PM and pretend that everything in fine, but they must accept the fact that the risk of them being thrown out by voters in the next GE is immense.

The Pakatan Rakyat parties do not have to do much. They just need to keep their internal differences in check and stop washing dirty linen in public. If they stop bickering about ideologies and stop being egotistical maniacs, they stand a good chance of keeping their 52% popular votes and probably get more in the coming polls.

Anwar-UbahHudud will likely undo the PR Coalition

In simple language, all that the PR has to do is keep its nose clean and hope that no positive changes happen in the leadership of the BN and the government. Do not underestimate the voters’ desire for change. The tumbling support for the BN since the 2008 GE suggests that this trend is gaining momentum.

BN should realise that it has not only lost the popular votes but also the battle of words. Its propaganda machines have lost the war with the social media.

Also, the PR has many more younger and smarter leaders than the ageing BN parties. Can we name more future UMNO-BN leaders other than Youth Minister Khairy Jamaluddin and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Dr. Wee Ka Siong?

Do not forget that the young people who are joining the rank electorates are the prime movers of social media and the BN is a poor second in the use of this new communication tool. For UMNO, do not forget that the most numbers of unregistered voters are Malays and UMNO is trailing the DAP in enticing young people to register as voters.

Ibrahim-ali and MahathirThe era of strong leaders like (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad and late (Tun) Abdul Razak Hussein is over for UMNO. The survival of the party, for now, appears to rest on collective leadership, which Mohd Najib has failed to put together.

This is because, from the start, he fashioned himself as a president not a prime minister. He does things not in consultation with the party and the civil service. Instead he surrounds himself with presidential-type councils, committees, advisors, consultants and special officers many of whom are not government servants but have access to confidential materials and state secrets.

And may be Mohd Najib’s earliest mentor (at PETRONAS), the Gua Musang MPTengku Razaleigh Hamzah Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, is entirely correct, when he said Malaysia may be heading into 2015 but we have deviated from the path of progress, and instead progress has been set back several decades.

In his New Year message, the former Finance Minister said, 2014 had been a “horrible year” but the future does not look bright particularly because of worsening racial and religious politics.

Belated Happy 85th Birthday, Mr Palmer


December 21, 2014

Belated Happy 85th Birthday, Mr Palmer

ArnoldPalmerMedalOfFreedom

Belated Happy 85th Birthday, Mr Palmer.You are still active and looking good.

Arnold Palmer PutterIn my book, you are the greatest golfer of my generation. And because of you, I learned to play golf and because of you as my inspiration, I am at 75 still at it with undiminished passion, going for broke on the course, never giving up because in golf if you think you can win, you will likely overcome the odds and turn defeat into victory.–Din Merican

Golf: Thailand Open 2014–Lee Westwood wins


December 14, 2014

Golf: Thailand Open 2014–Lee Westwood is the Champion

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/golf/2014/12/14/westwood-wins-thailand-golf-championship/20392333/

Lee Westwood--Thai Open Champion 2014Lee Westwood-Thailand Open 2014 Champion

CHONBURI, Thailand (AP) — Englishman Lee Westwood won his second Thailand Golf Championship with a one-stroke victory over Australian Marcus Fraser and Martin Kaymer of Germany at the Amata Spring Country Club on Sunday.

The 2011 champion was in a three-way lead with Fraser and Kaymer on 8 under with two holes to go but the German bogeyed the 17th while the Australian missed an easy par putt on the 18th, giving Westwood, who was watching in the clubhouse, the victory.

Westwood came back from two straight bogeys at the start of his final round to fire seven birdies for a 67 and an 8-under 280 total.

Lee-Westwood swings at Thailand Open 2014“I didn’t start well and I knew I needed to shoot good scores,” Westwood said. “I played some really good shots and made a couple of safe putts, hit a lot of fairways.

“This win is more special than in 2011 as then I was having a big lead,” added Westwood, who has won eight Asian Tour titles.

Overnight leader Marcus Fraser (right), who started the day with a Marcus Frasertwo-stroke cushion, carded five birdies against two bogeys for a 281 to finish joint-second along with U.S. Open champion  Martin Kaymer.

The result assures Fraser of an entry into the British Open as one of the four leading players at the Thailand Golf Championship who had already qualified.

“That’s why I came up here to try to do – get one of those spots at the (British) Open at St Andrews next year so it’s great, I’m excited. I played there in 2005, the first major I ever played, and was jumping out of my skin on the first tee. But hopefully I will be a bit calmer next year,” said Fraser, who has not won an Asian Tour title since victory in Korea four years ago.

Apart from Fraser, Australian Scott Hend, who finished fifth with a 284, American Jonathan Moore in joint-sixth with a 285 and India’s Anirban Lahiri, also joint-sixth, took the remaining three berths.

Despite finishing at 6 over 294, American Davis Lipsky finished the year as the top player on the Asian Tour with total prize money of $713,901.

Harrington ends drought at the BRI Indonesia Open 2014


December 7, 2014

Wilson Golf’s Ambassador Harrington ends drought at the BRI Indonesia Open 2014

http://www.rte.ie/sport/golf/2014/1207/665176-victory-in-sight-for-harrington/

Volvo Golf Champions - Day TwoPadraig Harrington ended a four-year victory drought with a two-shot win over Thailand’s Thanyakon Khrongpha at the Indonesia Open.

The triple major champion had not won a full field tournament since lifting the 2010 Johor Open title on the Asian Tour but a level-par 71 in his final round was enough for him to end that wait.

Harrington had taken a four-shot lead into the final day’s play but a double-bogey by the Irishman on the seventh hole handed Khrongpha the initiative.

Harrington fought back to level the score before Khrongpha scuppered his chances by finding water on the 18th hole.

“I had a bad break on the 18th hole when I hit my tee shot and it rolled to the edge of the hazard,” Harrington told reporters after the round.

“I was about to chip my ball sideways to the fairway but when Thanyakon hit it into the water, there was no point to take a chance. So I went back to the fairway and hit my six iron for my best shot of the week.”

Harrington said he hoped the win would spur a return to winning ways. “Winning is a good habit to have. It gives you a lot of confidence and I need that confidence,” the world number 385 said.

“I didn’t start too well but I came through and I got the win. This win brings a lot of confidence to my game and hopefully it will show up next year.”