Calcutta: It’s not often that Arjun Atwal gets time to visit home these days. He doesn’t even remember the last time he spent Diwali in city.
Now that he is here, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC) used the opportunity to felicitate him on Wednesday. And it was done in style.
In an absolute first, Atwal was presented with a club blazer with the club crest embossed on it. Not that he had won any tournament at the RCGC, it was just a gesture to salute the most eminent Indian golfer of recent times.
It was RCGC captain Aveek Sarkar who put the blazer on Atwal.
The RCGC has obviously been inspired by the tradition of the Augusta Masters where the famous ‘green jacket’ is presented to the latest champion by the previous year’s winner.
Thanking the city and the club, where he picked up his first golfing lessons, Atwal said: “I have been playing at the RCGC since childhood and owe my success to the club and this city.”
Responding to questions from mediapersons, Atwal said he was intimidated playing alongside Tiger Woods for the first time. “Now I don’t care who Tiger Woods is. I feel I have the ability to beat him.”
Atwal did not hide his disappointment for not having received the Arjuna Award yet.
“I am the only Indian golfer to have won an European circuit event. But I have never been nominated for the Arjuna, though they have given it to different amateurs,” Atwal said.
“It used to hurt me before, but now I have got used to it.”
Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya presented Atwal with a silver plaque on behalf of the club. Also present at the function were former Davis Cup captain Naresh Kumar and 1982 Asian Games gold-medallist Lakshman Singh.