Sport | Golf

Dubai-born Rhea makes quite a splash in the US

Dubai-born Rhea Nair has been turning heads with her steady golf in the US.

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:10 March 19, 2008
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Devadasan/Gulf News
  • Dubai-born Rhea Nair, now a rising star on the NCAA golfing circuit in the US, hones her skill at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club during a recent visit.

Dubai: Dubai-born Rhea Nair has been turning heads with her steady golf in the US.

At the beginning of this month, Rhea was tied for 10th place - the best finish in her college golfing career - during the Lady Puerto Rico Classic.

Last week, the 18-year-old went even better during the UCF Challenge as she climbed her way to a creditable fifth place.

Rhea was at her best with a second-round score of 69 that eventually helped her to a 4-under 212 for her 5th place finish.

This steady show has seen the Dubai youngster climb up the College Rankings to a modest No 97. She has also been featured in this week's edition of Golfweek, alongside a fantastic victory notched up by Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Classic.

Alabama coach Mic Potter is thrilled with young Rhea's form.

"I discovered over the past couple of weeks just how bright she [Rhea] is," Potter has been quoted on the Golfweek website. The coach, however, identified Rhea's problem with her short game. "I am confident of her swing and the drive, but she does fall behind due to her short game," Rhea's father Ashok Kumar told Gulf News.

Her short-game slump took her self-confidence to a low. But help was on its way as new NCAA rules allow the use of a coach during play. Assistant coach Susan Rosentiel walked with Rhea during the entire Puerto Rico event, reinforcing positive thinking and course management.

Rhea was quick to admit that this did help her as she steadied her game even as she got a grip on how best to handle herself.

'Really positive'

"The coach kept me calm and she is really positive on how I go about with my game," Rhea said.

And the results have already started showing.

"She knows how to manage herself in pressure situations now," Potter said.

"She's going to be a factor in the spring. It's just a maturity thing now," Potter added.

Nair was at her best with a second round score of 69 that eventually helped her to a 4-under 212 for her fifth place finish.

Gulf News
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