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Winds of change: Atwal gets whiff of it

other Updated: Nov 30, 2010 23:36 IST
Robin Bose
Robin Bose
Hindustan Times
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Arjun Atwal's form this season fortifies the tenet of golf --- you never know when you'll hit form. It was a dismal opening to the year with the 37-year-old running the risk of losing his card on the PGA Tour.

Courtesy the medical exemption, he got eight starts to move up the money list but they did not suffice, and the months spent in the fear of relegation came real at the Canadian Open in late July.

He could have fallen apart, but instead chose the road back through the Monday qualifiers. One such effort in late August saw him land at the Sedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Atwal had nothing to lose and the "light feeling" meant he was able to wield his clubs with some extra deftness between from August 19-22.

Reams have been written on the outcome and images of him looking skywards on the 18th green with outstretched arms are still vivid. More than the cheque of $918,000 and the Wyndham Championship title, it was a pointer to the faith the man had in his ability.

Three months down, the setting may have shifted to the Delhi Golf Club but Atwal is backing himself to pull off another mission. Eleven years after he won his first Asian Tour title at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, his home course, Atwal is ready for another shot at Indian Open glory.

The build-up has been perfect and Atwal hopes when the $1.25 million event tees-off on Thursday, his drives will find the narrow fairways more than the dense vegetation on either side.

"After the (Barclays) Singapore (Open), I was exhausted (a factor which probably saw him miss the cut) but two weeks of rest in Kolkata have recharged the batteries and I am raring to go. It is off-season for me but the few days of practice means my game is getting back to shape," he said on Tuesday.

To get a complete feel of the course, Atwal is waiting for the Pro-Am on Wednesday but the practice round over nine holes on Monday did have him gushing.

"The greens are in amazing shape and I can safely say in all my appearances here I have never found them in better shape," he said.

The scores could go low but for them to plunge Atwal is hoping the swirling gusts don't take off with the ball. "Depending on it, we could see a winning total of seven-under to 18-under," he said.