Only the second Indian after Jeev Milkha Singh to compete at the Masters, Arjun Atwal is aiming to make the trip to the Augusta National Golf Club a memorable one.
A former Asian Tour No. 1, Atwal is counting on tips from Tiger Woods and the experience of winning on four Tours to drive him to a strong showing.He earned an exemption into the year's opening Major through the win at the Wyndham Championship last year, making him India's first winner on the PGA Tour.
Atwal's preparation got a boost when he and Woods, a four-time Masters champion, played a practice round here some weeks ago. “To get to play with a past champion is a huge advantage, especially when it is Tiger,” said Atwal.
“He showed me some of the lines off the tees and where to miss it around the greens. Learning those little things can add up to several shots over the week at the Masters,” he said.
He marvelled at the Augusta National, but to succeed, Atwal knows he must treat it as any other event when the first shot is struck on Thursday.
“The whole place is like a dream. I had a chance to visit Augusta National for a couple of days following Bay Hill. That was huge in getting past the initial shock. It is like another world when you turn through the front gate,” said Atwal.
“I would say those days of practice certainly helped me to be more comfortable here this week. This is a special tournament and to have my friends and family here makes it even more special to me.”