PETALING JAYA: Golfer V. Khavish Varman (pic) has a good reason to do well in the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC).
This is because the winner of this 12th edition will be invited to play in two of world’s most prestigious golf tournaments – the US Masters Tournament and the British Open next year.
The runner-up will also be granted entry to the British Open Qualifying Series for the British Open at St Andrews.
Based on current form, the US-based Khavish has a good chance to make a mark in the tournament starting tomorrow at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Khavish, who represents University of Alabama in the US colleagiate, won the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship in May and Graeme McDowell Invitational in September for his two victories this year.
Earlier last month, the 21-year-old also claimed a ninth-placing in the Bank of Tennessee Inter-collegiate to climb to a career-best No. 175 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR).
Khavish first made his presence felt following a stellar 2020-21 season where he was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Year.
The Malaysian, however, will have to bring out more than his A-game in order to come out tops in the competition as the 120-man field features the likes of talented Japan’s world No. 1 Keita Nakajima and defending champion Lin Yuxin of China.
Yuxin, also the 2017 winner, can expect a stiff challenge coming from Nakajima, who has been in splendid form recently after being crowned the winner of the Japan Amateur Championship and the Panasonic Open, an event on the Japan professional Tour.
The other Malaysians to take part in the AAC are Marcus Lim, Rizq Adam Rohizam and G. Nateeshvar Anatha. Marcus is the only one out of the four who has competed before when he finished tied-52nd in China two years ago.
The best-ever achievement by Malaysian competitors were joint-seventh placing.
Iszaimi Ismail was the first to accomplish it in the inaugural AAC in China in 2009 before Ervin Chang matched it nine years later in Singapore.