iNDICA NEWS BUREAU-
A 22-year-old Indian American golfer, playing at Oklahoma State University (OSU) has opted to pursue competitive golf under the Indian flag, starting with the upcoming Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship scheduled for November in Dubai.
Aman Gupta, who is ranked 72nd on the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR), is a semi-finalist at the 2020 U.S. Amateur Championship, is currently in his final year at OSU and plans to turn pro by mid 2022.
Gupta is part of the first team at OSU, one of the most successful teams in the history of US college golf and boasting of such alumni as Rickie Fowler, Victor Hovland, Matthew Wolff and Peter Uihlein.
Born in Easly in South Carolina, Gupta is an American, but also holds an Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, which gave him an opportunity to play for India. His father, Kapil, hails from Amritsar and his mother Aradhana is from Mumbai.
Gupta’s choice of playing under the tricolor has given the Indian Golf Union’s selection committee great hope and joy.
“I had not known until recently that I was eligible to represent India. It was something I always wanted to do. I love the US and hope to be able to represent them one day as well, but my roots are in India and I would be disappointed if I never got the chance to represent the country that means so much to my family,” said Gupta to reports.
Gupta said the sensational run by Aditi Ashok at the Tokyo Olympics, and the reaction it evoked in India, also played a role in his decision.
“I started thinking on this a couple of weeks ago. I will say her run was a part of it… it was inspiring to see. But to be able to represent India, I’ve always thought it would be a really cool thing to be able to do,” he added.
He hopes to represent India at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC), the premier amateur tournament for the region, with the winner getting invitations to play in The Masters at Augusta National and Open next year.
“I hope I can get into the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship. It would be an amazing honor to represent India as its highest-ranked player. And of course, Olympics is another event that I’d love to be a part of,” he added.
It remains to be seen if he will be nominated for the event by the Indian Golf Union or if his entry is automatic based on his amateur world ranking being the best of any Indian player.