Anirban Lahiri’s impressive victory in Malaysia made him the fourth Indian winner on tour to date joining Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh and SSP Chowrasia
Anirban Lahiri became the fourth Indian winner on tour on Sunday, but the 27-year-old’s rapid rise through the ranks and fairly prolific strike rate on the Asian and Indian Tours (13 career victories in total now) suggests he may prove to be the best of all the Indians to make it out on to the European Tour so far.
Lahiri, who now has a full card for the first time after graduating at Q School last year, has played 39 European Tour events so far, with his previous best finish 6th place in the 2014 Championship at Laguna in Singapore. He first came to the attention of European golf fans in the 2012 Open at Royal Lytham when he made a hole in one at the 9th in round three en route to a 31st place finish.
Sunday’s Malaysian victory moves him up to 37th in the world having remained in the Top 100 for the best part of a year. Such success at a young age suggests we may be witnessing the emergence of India’s best ever golfer, but here’s a quick recap of the other three to win on tour, and a round-up of India’s other main European Tour campaigners…
Became the first Indian to win on the European Tour (2002 Caltex Singapore Masters) and the PGA Tour (2010 Wyndham Championship). Won twice more on the European Tour before heading for the States, but despite that PGA Tour victory has never climbed higher than 106th in the world rankings
Jeev Milkha Singh
The man with the swing only a mother could love has won four times on tour between 2006 and 2012, most recently the 2012 Scottish Open where he took down Francesco Molinari on the first play-off hole. Tried his hand at the PGA Tour too for four years, with a best finish of 4th the 2009 WGC-CA Championship which took him to a career-high 29th in the world – Lahiri’s next target!
SSP (Shiv Shankar Prasad if you’re wondering) popped up seemingly out of nowhere to claim the maiden Indian Masters in 2008, adding a second victory on home soil in the 2011 Avantha Masters. That said, he had notched up 10 victories on the Indian Tour prior to that. Reached 161st in the world after his first European Tour victory, and that remains his career high.
Other Indian European Tour campaigners
Jyoti Randhawa – five times a runner-up on tour, and in the world’s top 100 on many occasions between 2004 and 2009. Finished 33rd on the 2007 Order of Merit.
Gaganjeet Bhullar – 26-year-old whose best finish has been 2nd in the 2013 Avantha Masters. Won the Gujarat Kensville Challenge on the Challenge Tour in 2011.
Shiv Kapur – Tour regular since 2006 and twice a runner-up, with 2014 his best ever season (87th). Has won twice on the Challenge Tour. Birdied six of his first seven holes to take an early lead in the 2013 Open at Muirfield