Haven (Wisconsin): Indian golfer Anirban Lahiri got a boost ahead of his campaign at the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Championships, winning the star-studded Long Drive Competition at the Whistling Straits course here.
The event, which precedes the main tournament, saw Lahiri hit the drive to 327 yards at the the par-5 593-yard second hole on Tuesday. Matt Dobyns finished second with an effort of 323 yards while J.B. Holmes (315 yards) was third.
Lahiri will be rewarded with a gold money clip. He took part in the competition last year as well, but missed the fairway despite coming up with a powerful effort.
The Long Drive Competition requires the golfers not only to hit long but also find the fairway. Big hitters, Rory McIlroy, coming back after missing the British Open, Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Tony Finau, missed the fairway and their drives did not count.
The PGA Long Drive Competition originated at the 1952 PGA Championship in Louisville, and was revived last year.
The PGA of America offers all players in the field the opportunity to hit one tee shot at the second hole. The ball must come to rest in the fairway in order to be counted.
Lahiri, who ranks just 79th on the European Tour in driving distance at 292.3 yards, is attempting to become the first Indian-born player to qualify for The Presidents Cup. He currently ranks ninth in the international standings.