With golf all set to feature in the Olympics 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, India need to get itself ready like that of China, Arjun Atwal said in Kolkata on Friday. The only Indian to win a US PGA Tour event when he won the Wyndham Championship in August 2010, Atwal also said Tiger Woods will regain his top position and will come back with a bang 2011.
Atwal, who was felicitated at the Royal Calcutta Golf Course in Kolkata on Friday, said, "Golf has been included in 2016 Olympics. Our country needs to be excited about this."
"Look at China, they have already started preparing for it, building infrastructure. We need to do get the awareness going. We need to get the kids into it. I think the government can do something about it. That's my personal opinion," he said urging the government to do something about it.
"Golf is not a popular sport in India but it's just a matter of time it can come up. I am trying to change it with the likes of Jeev (Milkha Singh) and Jyoti (Randhawa)," the sixth Asian-born player to win on the PGA Tour said.
"My goal is to get the kids practice for free. At this point I really can't afford to do that but I hope that happens when I finish playing professional golf and come back here," said the 37-year-old.
Talking about Tiger Woods, who has been displaced from the no 1 spot by Lee Westwood, Atwal said, "Tiger is a different animal altogether, it's not just that he has the name of an animal."
"I have played with a lot of top class golfers but I'm never afraid of anybody. Tiger has this innate abilities where he will beat you. I have not seen this quality with anyone. You can call it superhuman but it's something he is born with," said the Orlando-based golfer.
"Yes definitely (he will be back as No 1). There is no doubt about it. He has already made amazing improvement. It's not just golf but mentally too. He is getting better.
"He has come out of the phase and he has got a divorce. Having resolved this, he is getting better. He will be fine. By next year, he will be there again. I expect Tiger (Woods) to regain the top position."
"I've learnt so much from him. It's just amazing to see how Tiger balances his his body and mind," Atwal, who began golfing at RCGC, said.
Atwal termed the world ranking system confusing.
"It's debatable who is number one. (Current no 1) Lee Westwood is a great player but I see Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell are really good."
Atwal termed his wife, Sona, as his biggest motivator.
"There is only one word that motivates me, Sona, my wife. She is the most motivating factor. I had a couple of rough years when I had met with an accident in the US and then after coming back I again got hurt. There were a lot of ups and downs but she has never changed, she is like a flat line no matter what happens."
Atwal will next play India Open in a couple of weeks.