Thomas hopes local knowledge will give him an edge

What has been a dream for the past five years, has finally come true for Rayhan Thomas as he tees up in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic Thursday.

Joy Chakravarty
by Joy Chakravarty
31st January 2017

article:31st January 2017

Rayhan Thomas.
Rayhan Thomas.

The 17-year-old won the MENA Golf Tour Amateur Order of Merit to earn his place in the oldest golf tournament in the Middle East, two weeks after he was given a special invitation to play the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Thomas, now ranked 112th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, said: “I’ve wanted to play the Dubai desert Classic for a while now. Since I was at least 12, I’ve been coming out to watch this event, and it’s great to be here at home.

“I know this place like the back of my hand. Hopefully, that will serve me well this week.”

Despite his knowledge of the golf course, Thomas admitted he was feeling slightly nervous.

“Yeah, a little bit. You always put a little pressure on yourself because you expect something more, but as long as I just play my best and stick to my routines, I will be fine,” said the teenager who became the youngest and the only amateur to win on the MENA Tour last year.

“I try not to give myself expectations, but you always expect something. I just want to play my best. That’s all I expect from myself.”

Thomas paid tribute to the MENA Tour for helping him achieve so much so early in his career.

“The MENA Tour has been great, playing there since I was 13. It has been a great place to hone my skills and build some confidence. From 2013, trying to make the amateur cut, going into my room and like waiting and just trying to look at the scores, keep refreshing the page…to now contending on that Tour,” he added.
“It’s the same now with the European Tour. Hopefully, I will get better as the years go through. But I am looking forward to playing more on the MENA Tour. They are doing a great job. They are expanding and hopefully I will be with them all the way to the end.”



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