| Arjun Atwal
Shanghai: World No. 2 Vijai Singh considers Arjun Atwal’s future to be full of potential.
Vijai was full of praise for the Indian golfer. “He’s played a lot of college golf in America, so he’s very, very familiar with the surroundings. He goes out there, plays practice rounds with American players (including Tiger Woods). He has played practice rounds with me so he’s very comfortable in America.
“He played great (this year). He almost won twice and had a few top-10 finishes and I think he’s going to go on, and you know, win a tournament (on PGA) very soon,” the Fijian said.
That comment and the several practice rounds Atwal has had with world No.1 Woods, including one on Tuesday, bear testimony to the Indian’s rising stock on the world golf stage.
The latest round with Atwal here was something Woods had fixed almost a month back.
“It is always interesting to play Tiger, whether in a tournament or in practice,” said Atwal of the experience.
In fact, Atwal may soon join the Isleworth Golf and Country Club, which is the home course for Woods.
“I’m planning to join his club in Isleworth so that I can see what he does, and how he does it and stuff like that. I’ve got to know him better and he’s really a funny guy (with good sense of humour),” Atwal said of Woods.
Talking before the pro-am of the HSBC champions’ event at the Sheshan International Golf Club, Atwal said “I’ve played a couple of times with Tiger in Orlando, but it’s the first time that I’ve had the opportunity to do so at a tournament. It was fun but it’s all negative for me as you can never beat him.
“He’s got the whole package, the strength, the short game. It does motivate everyone, including me on the Tour”.
Talking of his season on the US PGA Tour, he said, “I’ve had a good year in America. That’s probably because I was more familiar with the golf courses and my wife Sona and son Krishen travelled with me all the time, which was good for me. My caddie, Steve Kay, has been a big help. His 18 years on the PGA Tour is terrific to have.”
In 2005, Atwal finished 82nd on the money list and made more than $ 963,000.