Golf: Dubai's Rayhan Thomas making impressive progress in US
Turning professional is Rayhan's biggest goal as he wants to play golf for a living
Rayhan Thomas, a talented golfer from Dubai, is currently at the Oklahoma State University (OSU) in the US on a golf scholarship.
Rayhan, who was born to Indian parents in Dubai, dominated the local UAE amateur golf events during his time here and became the first amateur winner on the Mena Tour when he clinched the 2016 Dubai Creek Open title at the age of 16.
Rayhan, 21, went on to make the cut in the 2017 Dubai Desert Classic and later that year, he equalled a world record with nine consecutive birdies at an official OWGR sanctioned event, the Mena Tour’s Dubai Creek Open at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.
Now Rayhan is making impressive progress as a golfer at the OSU, which has a rich history of success. It has been consistently the best golf school over the past three decades, winning more National Championships than any other team in that time.
Rickie Fowler, Pablo Martin, Matt Wolff, Viktor Hovland, Hunter Mahan, Bo Van Pelt, Scott Verplank and Peter Uihlein are some of the outstanding alumni from the OSU.
Rayhan has had the opportunity of playing golf with some of these great players while at University. The names include Viktor Hovland, Matt Wolff, the 2020 US Open runner-up, Austin Eckroat, and Pablo Martin.
Rayhan finished seventh in the 2020 Prestige Individual, 28th in the Cabo Collegiate 2020 and 11th in the Prestige Individual this year.
The talented golfer is excited to have a full playing schedule ahead of him this spring as Covid-19 pandemic has not stopped golf at OSU.
“Covid has made it tough for our OSU team to bond as we have to stay in our rooms after practice and with tournaments there are a lot of strict regulations both on and off the golf course. In terms of classes we have a mix of online lectures as well as some in person,’ said Rayhan.
‘However, the Covid (situation) has certainly impacted my summer golf plans. I will probably not be travelling home to Dubai, nor playing in the UK and Europe. I will most likely stay in the US this year and play tournaments here.”
Rayhan is delighted to have the support of two amazing coaches at OSU, Alan Bratton and Donnie Dar. He also continues to work with Justin Parsons, a former Dubai resident and former coach at the CH3 Academy at The Els Club.
“I have learnt a lot in my time at OSU, especially about myself and how to manage the ups and downs of golf and life generally. Being around such good players and coaches is great for my experience,” he said.
“During my time at OSU, I have played Pebble Beach which is now my favourite golf course, as well as Olympia Fields, Oak Tree National, Southern Hills and Cypress Point.”
Turning professional is Rayhan’s biggest goal post-OSU as he wants to play golf for a living.
A determined, hard-working, disciplined and a talented youngster, this Dubai golfer has already cemented his place among the big boys of amateur golf.
GOLF AROUND THE WORLD THIS WEEK
PGA TOUR www.pgatour.com
The Honda Classic
Venue: PGA National (Champion), Florida, US
Purse: $7 million.
EUROPEAN TOUR www.europeantour.com
Magical Kenya Open
Venue: Karen CC. Nairobi, Kenya
Purse: €1 million
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