Rising star Anirban Lahiri of India faces big choices on title defenses

By Doug Ferguson
Published on
Rising star Anirban Lahiri of India faces big choices on title defenses

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) – Anirban Lahiri of India said he would give up his European Tour membership if he feels he needs to spend more time on the PGA Tour.
For a player like Lahiri, however, meeting the European Tour membership criteria will never be easier.
A change in policy requires members to play five events that do not include the four majors and four World Golf Championships. It does include the EurAsia Cup (Jan. 15-17 in Malaysia) and the Olympics. Lahiri plans to play both. Throw in his title defense at the Hero Indian Open, and he would only have to play two events.
The tough decision for Lahiri is the Indian Open.
He already has decided not to defend his title in the Maybank Malaysian Open. However, the Indian Open is the same week as the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and a week before the Dell Match Play in Texas.
"It's tending toward likely for the Indian Open," Lahiri said. "It's a very difficult situation to be in. Personally speaking, it's been an emotional high for me to win the Indian Open this year. I would like nothing more than to try to defend."
And therein is another catch. The European policy states that one of those five events must include a tournament in a player's home country, if available. Otherwise, the minimum requirement goes up to seven regular tournaments.
Meanwhile, Lahiri will be looking for a home in Florida. He is leaning toward the West Palm Beach area or Orlando, where good friends Daniel Chopra and Arjun Atwal live.
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