With the PGTI Tour shutting down due to the coronavirus, Indian golfer Udayan Mane’s chances of improving his ranking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics later this year suffered a minor setback last Sunday when he lost the Bengal Open golf championship to upcoming Indian talent Aadil Bedi.
Ranked 223 in the world, second only to world no.185 Rashid Khan amongst Indians, Udayan Mane is in the fray for Olympics qualification that has a cut-off date of June 22.
“It would surely mean a lot (to qualify for the Olympics). Everyone will be happy and it will help golf grow in Maharashtra,” Udayan Mane told The Telegraph while discussing what Olympic qualification would mean.
How to qualify for the Olympics golf tournament
Qualifying for golf at the Olympics is based on the sport’s world rankings with a total of 60 men and 60 women making it to the showpiece event.
The top 15 men and women automatically qualify with a maximum limit of four golfers eligible to qualify from each country.
The remaining spots go to the top-ranked players from countries that don’t already have two golfers qualified with a limit of two from each country.
Currently ranked 57 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Golf Rankings, Udayan Mane, whose three-match winning streak in the TATA Steel PGTI ended on Sunday, is on course for the 2020 Olympics at present.
However, he’s wary of the fact that his tournament time is going to be limited amidst the coronavirus outbreak.
“Considering that there are no tournaments to play right now. It’s going to be tough for me to improve my ranking. I am not upset because as far as my family and I are concerned, my health is more important than golf,” Udayan Mane opined.
“I will continue doing what I do in terms of preparation. Even if there is a tournament six months from now. I will still be in the same state in terms of where I want to go,” he added.
Despite the lack of tournaments to participate in, though, Udayan Mane insists that he intends to keep busy in the lead up to the Olympics.
“I will play four-day events at my home club with all the professionals there. We will fix tee times, pin positions and get into international mode. The 12 or 15 who will play will pool in kitty money and the winner will take it all. It will help refine and sharpen playing skills,” Udayan Mane said.
The Bengal Open was the last event on the PGTI Tour before shutting down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.