Anirban Lahiri

New Delhi, March 14 (IANS) Indian golf star Anirban Lahiri wants to qualify again for the Masters Tournament next month and the International Team which faces the United States in the Presidents Cup later this season.

Currently ranked 77th in the world, the 2015 Asian Tour champion said his Masters hopes will hinge on this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, beginning on March 16.

The qualifying for the Masters, to be held from April 6-9, will be open till the Shell Houston championship. The meet at Houston is the last counting tournament for players to break into the world’s top-50 ranking and earn their ticket to the Masters.

But Lahiri, setting himself a challenging target of qualifying for the Masters with a good show at Arnold Palmer Invitational, has decided to skip the Houston meet.

“I’ve got one more week to try to qualify for the Masters. I’ve made up my mind up that I won’t be playing Houston just because I’ve been a pro for 10 years now and in the entire duration, there’s always something to chase,” an Asian Tour release said on Tuesday.

“When you start as a rookie, you try to chase your card, and when you are a regular, you’re trying to chase your first win, and then the Order of Merit. There’s always something to chase. I’ve got to a point where I’m trying to play my best golf.

“If that means I have to hold myself back from chasing things down, I will do that. I believe I am good enough to get into these events as long as I can play to my potential.”

The Masters Tournament is an event in which Lahiri believes he can do well, especially after finishing tied 49th and equal 42nd in the past two editions.

Another event which the seven-time winner on the Asian Tour has his eyes on is the Presidents Cup, in which he made his debut in South Korea two years ago. Then he lost a vital singles match to American Chris Kirk, as the US won the Cup by a single point, 15.5 to 14.5.

“That’s something I want to play,” said the Florida-based Lahiri, who is ranked 20th on the International team standing, with the top-10 qualifying automatically by September 4.

“Without a doubt, I have unfinished business. I am so psyched on getting back onto that team, I’m motivated. I have to approach it as a by-product and not as a target. It has to be a by-product of me playing well. I need to spend my energy on getting myself better instead of chasing something.”

After missing the cut in his first tournament of the year in Hawaii early this, Lahiri has pieced together a nice run of form, with two top-10s and three top-25s around the world.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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