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Atwal aims to sign off on high note

Arjun Atwal wants to sign off his 'incredible' season by winning next month’s Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Course.

Written by Agencies | New Delhi | Published: November 1, 2010 5:07:17 pm

He scripted history by becoming the first Indian to notch up a PGA Tour win but that is just not enough for Arjun Atwal,who wants to sign off his “incredible” season by winning next month’s Indian Open at the Delhi Golf Course here.

India’s two most successful golfers Atwal and Jeev Milkha Singh will head home to compete in the Indian Open – which returns to the DGC after being held at the DLF Golf and Country Club last year.

The USD 1.25 million tournament will be played from December 2 to 5 and is the joint richest full-field event on this year’s Asian Tour.

The duo will be joined by compatriots Jyoti Randhawa,one of only two players to win the event on three occasions,and Shiv Kapur.

Atwal is still basking in the glory of becoming the first Indian to win on the US PGA Tour (the Wyndham Championships in August) while Jeev will be looking for a confidence boosting week after a year troubled by a nagging shoulder injury.

The 37-year-old Atwal also finished third in the McGladrey Classic in America three weeks ago.

His name is already on the Indian Open trophy as he claimed the title in 1999 and will return this year,bidding for his eighth Asian Tour victory.

“It will obviously be special playing in the Hero Honda Indian Open this year after winning in the States. That was an incredible moment and victory for me. My confidence is high and what better way to end the year than by winning my national Open for the second time,” said Atwal,who topped the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003.

Atwal,a regular practice partner of Tiger Woods,last won in Asia when he triumphed in the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2008.

“My win in the United States has given me a lot of confidence and I am hungry for more victories,” said Atwal,who finished joint 33rd in last year’s Hero Honda Indian Open.

His triumph in the Wyndham Championship came after he had lost his US PGA Tour card in July because he was too low on the Money List when his minor medical exemption ran out.

Besides becoming the first Indian to win on the US PGA Tour,he was the first Monday qualifier to triumph since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open.

The first prize of USD 918,000 bumped up his season’s winnings to USD 1,507,143 ranking him 55th on the Money List.

Jeev,on the other hand,last played in the Indian Open in 2008,when he finished fourth. He will be relishing a return to his homeland after a frustrating year. His injury has resulted in just one top-10 finish in 17 starts in the States.

The Indian’s last victory came in the Barclays Singapore Open in 2008,which was his sixth win on the Asian Tour. The 38-year-old won the Asian Tour Order of Merit title in 2006 and 2008 and has lifted two trophies in Europe and three in Japan.

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