Nine-time Major winner Gary Player believes Anirban Lahiri could well improve upon his joint runner-up finish at the Players Tournament to become the first Indian to win a major title.
Addressing mediapersons at the Delhi Golf Club here on Tuesday, the 86-year-old golfing legend and an epitome of fitness said, “If Lahiri can finish second in the Players Tournament, then he can definitely win a major, no question. What a happy day that would be for me to see a person from India win a major, and its coming. There is a good standard of play, you have got good golf courses, good climate, it can happen.”
Lahiri, a two-time winner on the European Tour, received $2.18 million – most for an Indian athlete across sporting disciplines – and jumped from 322 to 89 in the world rankings after finishing second best to Australia’s Cameron Smith.
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Player went on to say, “We must do everything possible to develop junior golf to produce a champion for India. It will get enormous publicity, much like (Sachin) Tendulkar for what he did for cricket.”
In the capital ahead of the $500,000 DGC Open beginning on Thursday, Player unveiled the winner’s trophy and hailed the course he redesigned in 2019. “I would give this course 9 out of 10. Overall, I am very happy at the way the redevelopment has gone. This is a historic venue and one always feels hesitant about tweaking a classic course too much, but in this case, it has worked out well,” revealed the friendly South African.
Shiv Kapur, a product of the DGC, said, “I am always trying to pick things that can be improved at any course but after seeing the new layout, I must say, I cannot find any.”