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National champ Aryan eyes walk down Magnolia Lane at Augusta ahead of Asia-Pacific challenge

Chonburi [Thailand], October 27 (ANI): Bengalurean Aryan Roopa Anand too dreams of walking down the Magnolia Lane at the 2023 Masters like each of the amateurs here at the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championships as the winner gets to play the Open at the Royal Liverpool next year.

Aryan, who will complete 21 in two months, is part of the seven-man Indian team at the Asia-Pacific Amateurs, Asia Pacific Open said a release.

The other Indians in the field are Rayhan Thomas, who was second in 2018, Milind Soni, Arjun Gupta, Shaurya Bhattacharya, Shat Mishra and Krishnav Nikhil Chopraa.

"The AAC means a lot. It is an opportunity for us to play the Masters and the Open. The thought of walking down Magnolia Lane is just amazing, it could tear up right now with thought of being there. The event is of great significance; and what the AAC, the RA and the Masters have done for amateurs is just fantastic. It has given us an opportunity to walk among the greats and made it possible for us to be at the best venues," Aryan said.

"We have four rounds to compete and hopefully get a chance to walk down Magnolia Lane or at the Royal Liverpool next year. So, I am looking forward to this week," he added.

Last year, Aryan became only the second player in this century to win back-to-back All India Amateur Championships, an iconic event that dates back to 1892.

"It is the biggest championship in India and to win it twice was amazing. There was a year's gap in between after I won it for the first time in 2019. To be able to stay on top again in 2021 was very satisfying," says Aryan, who is often spoken of as the busiest Indian amateur, who is happy to travel and play each week and whenever possible.

Aryan, who took to golf at the age of 10, considers the All India Amateur win in 2019 as his breakthrough moment. Since then he has represented India at various internationals.

He is now in Chonburi, Thailand alongside the best amateurs in the Asia Pacific, for his second start at the AAC.

"It is one of the most sought-after events; it is the best event you get all year around. I am glad I could be part of the Indian team for a second in a row. The experience at Creek (Dubai) last year was second to none. The way we get treated makes you want to come back and get more." In Dubai, he missed the cut, but this time he expects a better showing.

"I like being busy; I don't mind the (busy) schedule. That's why I put in the hours. What's the point of working so hard if you can't play 5-6 weeks in a row; that is what it is like at the Tours like PGA and other big Tours. I am sticking to the process, the work ethic is the same; the number of hours of work I put in and the discipline. Me and my team have stuck to all that and I know good results will follow in time," he said.

Earlier this month, he was part of his state team that won a silver at the National Games and then made the cut at a pro event, which included all of India's top professionals. He also won the Eastern India, another event that combines stroke play and match play like All India Amateurs. "Those are long events and need a lot of focus," he says.

And finally, Aryan hopes he can catch a bit of Thailand before the week is done, but for now the focus is the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, which will open many doors for the winner. (ANI)