Aaron Rai chasing lucky number three
Away from the limelight, Aaron Rai is aiming to take the biggest step of his golfing career this weekend.
While the 146th Open Championship is contested at Royal Birkdale, Rai will be 353 miles further south knowing victory in Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge would catapult him on to the European Tour.
The 22-year-old from Wolverhampton has enjoyed a stellar 2017 to date – he has already won twice on the Challenge Tour and got his first taste of Major action at the US Open last month.
And victory in France this weekend would automatically hand a European Tour card to Rai, who said: “You just have to play and prepare as well as you can, then see what happens.
“Whether it’s a first win, a second win or a third win, I think it comes as a result of playing good golf and doing the things well that you normally do well. If that happens, it will just be as a consequence of good golf rather than actually trying to force anything or make it happen – very often in the game it normally goes the other way when you try to do that, so I’ll be keeping very much the same approach as I’ve had all year.”
Should a third Challenge Tour victory of the season prove elusive, Rai could still earn himself a card by the end of the year by topping the rankings.
He is currently 10,000 points behind Julian Suri, who misses this weekend’s tournament to play in the Open.
And Rai would love to join his rival back on the Major stage.
“It was brilliant,” he said, reflecting on his appearance at the US Open. “It was a cool experience – being around those players was nice but I think to get a feel for how a Major Championship golf course is set up was probably the best part about it, seeing the features of the course and trying to figure out a way to play that.”