New York: Viraj Madappa, the 17-year-old from Kolkata and currently ranked two on the Indian Golf Union (IGU) men's Order of Merit, will become the first Indian amateur to participate in the prestigious Porter Cup commencing at the Niagara Falls Country Club here on Wednesday.
The four-day strokeplay tournament will witness the world's top amateurs from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, India and France compete, including former World No.1 and winner of 42 PGA Tour events David Duval.
Madappa, who is also the 47th ranked amateur in the world currently, has earned a spot in Porter Cup on the basis of his World Amateur Golf Rankings.
The 6 feet 2 inches tall Madappa, who finished fifth at the Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, United States, in April, said: "It's an honour to be invited for a tournament of this stature. Porter Cup will be one of the biggest events that I will have played in and it would be priceless to win it.
"A two-shot victory over Singapore's Gregory Foo at Taiwan Amateur Championship in a field of around 70 players from all across Asia last month and other international events that I have participated in this year have given me confidence and a lot of learning. Hopefully, I can keep doing that and bring more laurels for our country.
"I have experience of playing in the US but this will be my first time when I will be playing at Niagara Falls CC. I feel great about my game right now and I have practiced really hard for this event.
"The only thing that I will have to quickly adjust to is the weather so that I don't fall sick and can grab a practice round before I enter into the main tournament in front of 80-odd world class players."
The Porter Cup is a 72-hole, medal-play elite amateur golf tournament held annually at the Niagara Falls Country Club in Lewiston, New York. It was first played in 1959 and over the years has hosted some of the biggest names in golf. Past champions include PGA Tour stars Phil Mickelson, Duval, Scott Verplank and Ben Crenshaw.