New Delhi: Indian golfer Arjun Atwal is set to launch a title challenge at Hero Indian Open – starting from March 9. The tournament which propelled him to stardom nearly 20 years ago.
Atwal claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory at the National Open in 1999. The title subsequently paved his way to a stellar career that now includes eight tournament wins across the region. This eight win includes one in the United States also.
In addition, he became Asia’s No 1 in 2003, was the first golfer to break $1 million in career earnings on the Asian Tour. He entered the history books by becoming the first Indian golfer to win on the European Tour and PGA Tour.
The 43-year-old reckoned that he is still very capable of competing at the highest level in Asia.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s our national open. It’s fun as you get to play in front of family and friends. I’ve won at the old course at DLF a long time ago and it’s a brand new course now. I think it’s going to be a challenging test as the greens are very undulating,” Atwal said.
He recalled with great fondness his career breakthrough which he achieved in the 1999 Indian Open.
“Winning then was fantastic. Obviously, I’d never won on the Asian Tour, I’d come close and kept knocking on the door on many occasions. But to do it for the first time at home in front of everybody that is really special,” said Atwal.
The injuries in recent years have forced Atwal to readjust his playing schedule and tweak his golf swing.
With today’s modern game now trending towards a new and young generation of golfers. Atwal believes he is still very capable of competing and winning on the Asian Tour.