17-year-old Amateur Goes on the Ultimate Birdie Train
A fun card to stare at: 9 circles in a row from 2-10
(September 12, 2017) - What were you doing when you were 17 years old?
Rayhan Thomas is certainly not wasting his youth, as the Indian teenager fired a 10-under 61 Tuesday at the Mena Tour’s Dubai Creek Open to move two shots off the lead with one round to play.
But that’s not even the most interesting part: The 17-year-old made nine straight birdies at one point in his round, tying a record in an Official World Golf Rankings event.
So again, what were you doing when you were 17 years old?
There’s no doubt Thomas has a bright future. The amateur already garnered plenty of attention before this summer, where he made it to the semifinals at the U.S. Junior Amateur.
Thomas birdied Nos. 2-10 at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club to see himself to matching that record. The nine-consecutive birdies target was originally set by Mark Calcavecchia at the 2009 RBC Canadian Open. Bernd Wiesberger matched it at this year’s Maybank Championship on the European Tour, but that performance is not officially recognized in the record books due to preferred lies being played that day.
OK, so Tuesday’s run of play does happen to be at Thomas’ home course. But nine straight birdies in an OWGR-counting event as a 17-year-old remains an astounding feat.
Not that Thomas was overwhelmed by it all.
“It was fun,” Thomas said. “It was a good run of birdies. I just stayed pretty much in the moment and let it happen. It just felt natural.”
Thomas now has a legitimate chance to win this tournament, which would mean a successful repeat. The teenager won this event last year, an accomplishment that played a good deal into his higher profile.
Whatever happens in the final round, we can say with certainty that Thomas is far ahead of the average person at age 17.