By Kent Gray
A hopeful email has landed Rayhan Thomas the perfect prep for this month’s 18th Asian Games with the Dubai-based teen set to tee it up in his second Asian Tour event on Thursday.
The 18-year-old Dubai Creek amateur is one of 14 invitees to the $350,000 TAKE Solutions Masters in Bangalore, India. It follows his Asian Tour bow at last year’s HERO Indian Open (co-sanctioned by the European Tour) and is just the ticket as he counts down to the Asian Games golf tournament, a 72-hole individual and teams strokeplay event at Pondok Indah Golf Club in Jakarta from August 23-26.
“A friend told me about the TAKE Solution Masters, a lot has been said about the event, so I got the contact of one of the guys at TAKE Solutions, sent them an email, asked them for an invite and that’s how I got it,” said the MENA Tour star who missed the cut at the Indian Open following rounds of 78-75 in March 2017.
“I think it will be great prep for the Asian Games, good to get some competition under my belt before I head over there [Jakarta].”
Thomas has played this week’s venue, the Karnataka Golf Association Golf Course, before and rates it as “one of the best in Indian”. Still, he’s been forced to reacquaint himself with the Bangalore layout’s subtleties.
“I played it four years ago though so I don’t really remember it. It was different playing it today,” Thomas said after his Monday practice round. “It’s in great shape, the rough is up and the course is playing amazing.
“The aims and expectations are as usual, just try and have fun, play as well as I can. I’m just looking forward to competing again.”
Thomas will divert to Deli after this week for a four-day camp with his Indian team-mates before arriving in Jakarta on Aug. 17.
India has won three individual medals at previous Asian Games and Thomas, who has verbally committed to play collegiate golf for Rickie Fowler’s former Oklahoma State University Cowboys from 2019 till 2023, would like to be the fourth.
“I think we’re already in good shape so I wouldn’t be surprised if we do well that week… and this week,” he said.
Thomas is also set to represent India at the Eisenhower Trophy (World Amateur Teams Championship) at Carton House near Dublin from Sept. 5-8 before returning to the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship at Sentosa G.C.in Singapore from Oct. 3-7. He finished T-35 at last year’s Asia Pacific in New Zealand.