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He pummelled his way to the headlines and made every Indian proud. India’s uber-talented amateur Golfer Rayhan Thomas showed what it takes to ride the crest of success through one’s mindboggling performances. Thomas narrowly missed being at the Numero Uno position but created a small piece of history as he ended up in the second place at the most coveted Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships.
The 18-year-old ensured the best finish by an Indian in the 10-year history of the Championships.
The Dubai-based golfer (4-under 66) ended two shots behind the winner, Takumi Kanaya (65), who made a great charge between the 14th and 16th with three successive birdies to surge ahead to victory over Thomas and the Asian Games individual gold medallist fellow Japanese Keita Nakajima (67).
The 20-year-old Kanaya, who was second individually at the World Amateur Championships last month days after being part of Japan’s Asian Games gold medal-winning team, totalled 13-under 267. Thomas and Nakajima were 11-under 269 as the threat of lightning stopped play for an hour and 11 minutes at the new Tanjong Golf Course. While Kanaya earned the coveted spots into the 2019 Masters and the 2019 Open Championships, both Thomas and Nakajima saved a place at the final stage of the Open Qualifying Series.
Overall, it was India’s best-ever Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships with five of the six Indian players making the cut this week.
The Twitterati exploded with congratulatory messages as the Dubai-based talented Golfer made his way to the top at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships.
@MikeWoodcock2 tweeted: A tremendous performance and a deserving winner. Also big congratulations to runners-up @rayhanthomas and Keita Nakajima who came so close. The Twitterati exploded with congratulatory messages as Rayhan Thomas earned his silver medal at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships.
David Spencer tweeted: We are all so proud @RayhanThomas and your SILVER MEDAL @AAC_Golf ! A massive moment for Indian Golf and for your legion of fans, friends, & Family in #MyDubai who were cheering you on today!!!You are an amazing young person!!!
The Els Club Dubai tweeted: We're so proud of @RayhanThomas his growth & professionalism as evidenced by his exceptional play at the @AAC_Golf , watch out world, a star is born!
Rayhan started playing golf with his dad John, at the age of eight, before joining the Mena Tour in 2013, aged 13.
Rayhan, whose life revolves around Golf, took a tough decision to leave school and continue his studies at home through an online course that gave him the liberty to concentrate on golf and play tournaments without skipping classes.
(With inputs from Sports star live)