New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) Anirban Lahiri will play in the World Golf Challenge to be held between December 2 and 6, becoming the first Indian to feature in the prestigious Professional Golfers Association (PGA)-sanctioned tournament, hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation, it was announced on Thursday. World No.39 Lahiri earned his PGA Tour card for the 2015-16 season via the Web.com series Finals and made headlines in the year after winning twice – at the Indian Open and Malaysia Open. The 28-year-old also became the first Indian to feature in the Presidents Cup last month. “I’m truly delighted and honoured to receive an invitation to the World Challenge, which is being played in Albany in The Bahamas this year. I want to thank (Hero Motocorp chief) Pawan Munjal who has been a great support, not just for me personally but to sport and golf in India and taking it global,” Lahiri, who has been given special exception to compete at the event, said in a release.
“I would like to thank my hero Tiger Woods and the Tiger Woods Foundation for hosting such a fantastic event for such a great cause. It is going to be quite a challenge and I look forward to coming out and hopefully putting up a strong performance.” Lahiri, 28, played all four Majors and World Golf Championships in 2015, and the highlight of the year was fifth place finish at the PGA Championship, the best-ever by an Indian. This year’s Major championships winners Jordan Spieth, Jason Day and Zach Johnson headline the field for the tournament that also features 18 of the world’s top-ranked golfers. World No.2 Spieth, the defending champion, will play the event for the third time, hoping to cap a dream 2015 on the course while competing against an elite international field representing the United States, Australia, England, India and Japan. Already this year, the 22-year-old Spieth has won his first two major championships, claimed the PGA Tour’s FedExCup title, captured PGA Tour Player of the Year honours and ascended to the No.1 world ranking. Spieth and 2013 World Challenge winner Johnson are the only two past event champions in the field. Johnson, who also finished runner-up in 2007 and 2011, will be making his eighth appearance at the event — the most by anyone in the field. Tournament host and 14-time Major champion Woods said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to showcase an elite field that, with its international players, represents the success of golf worldwide. I’m looking forward to bringing the World Challenge to a world-class venue in Albany.”