In Nikhil Rama, South Africa may just have a new young talent - ready to take the world’s fairways by storm.
Rama led going into the weekend at Houghton Golf Club, before eventually settling in sixth place and a huge payday of R718 538 - comfortably the biggest of his burgeoning career.
His finish in the co-sanctioned Sunshine Tour and DP World Tour event also saw the youngster rocket up 306 places to 908th in the world rankings.
Nikhil Rama just holed out for eagle on the 3rd and then on the 4th, hated it, but it almost went in for back to back hole outs. He’s currently 5 deep front 9 and 2 back at the Joburg Open 🙌![CDATA]>🇿![CDATA]>🇦 @Sunshine_Tour pic.twitter.com/zFdPZPESGk— Flushing It (@flushingitgolf) November 24, 2023
While it was not his debut playing on the biggest stage, having also played in the Joburg Open last year and the SA Open in 2021- it was the first time he made headlines with his stellar play.
Rama’s 11-under total with rounds of 65 62 72 and 70 saw him finish just two shots outside the three qualifying spots for The Open Championship next year.
"I'm enjoying the pressure, enjoying the fans which is great and just trying to have fun,” said after the second round.
Though it would have taken a superhuman effort to challenge Dean Burmester who triumphed on 18-under, Rama is certainly not done yet as he has also been invited to play the SA Open starting on Thursday.
Having grown up in Johannesburg, and played most of his golf at his home course Bryanston Country Club - Rama by his own admission did not have a stellar junior career.
“I wasn’t much of a junior golfer, then I started working with Hendrik Buhrmann and my golf really started to improve in 2019. I turned pro and thought let’s see what happens,” Rama said.
Heading to the SA Open at Gary Player-designed Blair Atholl Golf Estate this week, Rama will be buoyed by his strong showing in the Joburg Open, and perhaps will continue to show glimpses of what could be a long and successful career in the game.