Rayhan Thomas shines in Morocco


Rayhan Thomas is currently playing pro events on invite

Indian national Rayhan Thomas, 24, who grew up in Dubai and played college golf at the mighty Oklahoma State University, finished tied-8th at the US$2mn International Series Morocco on the Asian Tour picking up a sizable cheque of $39,480 in only his 3rd tournament as a professional. Thomas scored  rounds of 69-73-69-72.

A matter of grave concern underlining the lack of success by India’s male pro golfers on the 2024 Asian Tour was that the other 11 Indians playing the event, sadly all missed the cut including Shiv Kapur, Honey Baisoya, Khalin Joshi, Karandeep Kochhar, Kartik Sharma, Chikkarangappa, Saptak Talwar, S.S.P. Chawrasia, Jeev Milkha Singh, Yuvraj Singh Sandhu, and Ajeetesh Sandhu.

Compared to the surging talent from Thailand, the results highlight a significant difference. Only 4 of the 15 Indian pros made the final rounds, whereas among the Thai players, 13 of 24 made the cut. Considering 10 years ago, the story was the opposite, how much Thailand has progressed compared to Indian golf is a problem that needs to be addressed. 

There are several other data points that highlight the declining fortunes of Indian men on the international pro tours. 

Thomas, who was the highest-ranked Indian in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR) at 74th before turning pro last month, represented India at the 2022 World Amateur Team Championship and played on the Asia Pacific Amateur Team at the 2019 Bonallack Trophy against Europe. Thomas, who played in Morocco on a sponsor invitation, is unsure of where he will play next as he hasn’t qualified for any tour so far. 

Among other Indians, Delhi’s Veer Ahlawat, who leads the PGTI’s 2024 domestic ranking and lies 46th on the Asian Tour, finished tied-28th at 4-under 288 with rounds of 70-76-69-73.

Gaganjeet Bhullar,who finished 3rd on the 2023 Asian Tour rankings, was in title contention starting Sunday but shockingly dropped 6 strokes to par in his final 13 holes to drop down to 33rd with his final round 79. Bhullar attributed his disappointing finish to some poor iron shots.

Rashid Khan finished tied-37th at 2-under 290 with rounds of 70-75-71-74.


Photo – Asian Tour

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