Lahiri feeling confident

Lahiri first played in the MMO five years ago, and says he has come a long way since then.

The 27-year-old, who was voted Asian Tour Players' Player of the Year, believes he can do well this year's edition of the tournament.

Lahiri said: "It is easy to say that the first time I played in the Maybank Malaysian Open, I was a little bit scared and unsure of myself. That’s now in the past. Not only have I matured but I've improved mentally and I'm able to focus on what I need to do instead of what's going on around me.

"If anything it spurs me on to do better (playing in top fields). It inspires me to push myself a little harder. Having said that, I've played consistently in top notch fields. It is not a new experience anymore."

He added: "It is a clean slate. You've got to start from scratch.

"My goals are the same. Top-50, playing in Europe and America, these are all the goals that I will always have in mind right through my career. I have to build this season, primarily playing in the European Tour but I'll play my minimum on the Asian Tour. I do enjoy being in Asia so I'll still play here."

The Maybank Malaysian Open, which has a purse of US$3 million, kicks off at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club's West course on Thursday.