Rayhan Thomas may have honed his game in the UAE but it was only a matter of time before Indian golf cottoned on to the prodigiously talent teen.
The 17-year-old Dubai-born Indian amateur has just secured an invite to next month’s Hero Indian Open on the back of his dream Omega Dubai Desert Classic debut.
It will be a fourth European Tour start for the MENA Tour history-maker who kicked on from a sensational opening 68 with rounds of 75-74-74 to finish T60 in the Desert Classic at Emirates GC earlier this month.
Thomas is sure to attract considerable attention when he tees it up at DLF Golf & Country Club in New Delhi after outscoring Tiger Woods by nine shots in the first round in Dubai en-route to making the cut as the two-time champion and former world No.1 sadly hobbled his way back to the U.S.
“I got the invite a couple of days ago so that’s pretty awesome,” said Thomas of the invite to the March 9-12 Indian Open.
“I was pushing pretty hard for that, so to get it is pretty nice. I get to play both my home Opens now.”
After missing the cut by five shots at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship in mid January, Thomas sat out the middle leg of the Desert Swing in Qatar. The time on the sidelines, coupled with his Majlis magic. has him amped for Indian.
“It just makes you want to be out there so bad,” said Thomas who sprung to prominence by becoming the first amateur winner of a MENA Tour event, the Dubai Creek Open in September.
“The Desert Classic really got the juices going so I just want to get out there and play as much as I can on the big stage. I just cannot wait.”
Beyond the Indian Open, Thomas is eyeing the MENA Tour’s second Moroccan stop of 2017, the Royal Golf Mohammedia Open in Casablanca and the developmental tour’s Thailand swing either side of an invite to the prestigious Sage Valley Junior Invitational in the U.S. in April.
Beyond that he will have a tilt at the British and U.S. Amateur Championships, the U.S. Junior Championship and is currently leading the International team standings for September’s Junior Presidents Cup to be held at Liberty National in New Jersey two days before the senior contest.