Atwal aiming to relive glory days at #HIO2017

Thu 23 Feb 2017

Atwal aiming to relive glory days at #HIO2017

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New Delhi, February 23: India’s Arjun Atwal is preparing to launch a title challenge at next month’s US$1.75 million Hero Indian Open, the tournament which propelled him to stardom nearly 20 years ago.
Atwal claimed his maiden Asian Tour victory at his home Open back in 1999 which subsequently paved the way to a stellar career that now includes eight tournament wins across the region and also one historic triumph in the United States.
In addition, he became Asia’s number one in 2003, was the first golfer to break US$1 million in career earnings on the Asian Tour and played his way into the record books by becoming the first Indian golfer to win on the European Tour and PGA Tour.
Arjun Atwal of India
Turning 44 in March, Atwal feels he is still very capable of competing at the highest level in Asia and he is turning his attention to the Hero Indian Open, co-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour, which takes place at the DLF Golf and Country Club from March 9 to 12.
“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,” said Atwal.
He recalled with great fondness his career breakthrough which he achieved in the 1999 Indian Open at his home course at Royal Calcutta Golf Club.
“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, my family and friends, that was really special,” said Atwal.
“It gave me the confidence that I could win and I did go on to win quite a few more tournaments. It’s been a fulfilling career. I had set goals for myself and I got to most of my goals. You know, I was the first Indian to win on the European Tour, the first to win on the PGA Tour … that can never be taken away from me. It’s always going to be special to me.”
"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." - Arjun Atwal

A back injury in recent years has forced Atwal to readjust his playing schedule and tweak his golf swing to avoid the risk of enduring spasms. With today’s modern game now trending towards a new and young generation of golfers, Atwal still believes he is very capable of competing and winning on the Asian Tour.
“As long as my health is okay, if I can get into contention, I know I can hold my nerve and win again. I proved it when I won in Dubai (in 2014 which was his last Asian Tour victory). When I got into that position, it all came back. It was no big deal handling the pressure. That’s why I’m still playing,” said Atwal.
“The back is better. I’m trying to figure out a few things in my golf swing where my back doesn’t go out. It’s almost like the same injury that Tiger (Woods) is having. If the joints go out of position, the lower back will go into spasm.”
Arjun Atwal of India
These days, Atwal is also happy to play the “big brother” role to many of India’s upcoming talents such as Shubhankar Sharma and Chikkarangappa S.
“I see a lot of talent coming out of India. I played in our domestic tour championship (last season) and I saw a bunch of kids with really good golf swings and the fitness is better. They are learning the game in a different way from what we had to come through. The science is better for them while we played by feel back then,” said Atwal.
“They are good mature kids and I’m looking forward to seeing their careers grow. I was never as good as they are now when I was their age. However, I like to see them winning a bit more. What I’m trying to instill in them is that at the end of it all, it’s all about winning. You’ve got to learn how to win.
“I’m happy to offer advice if they ask me. I’ve had phone calls when I’m back home in Orlando and I’m happy to chat with anyone. Jeev (Singh), Jyoti (Randhawa) and myself didn’t have a generation before us. So it’s good to be able to help the kids whenever they ask.”
About Hero MotoCorp
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer in terms of unit volumes sold by a single company in a year – the coveted position it has held for the past 16 consecutive years. The New Delhi (India)-headquartered Hero MotoCorp sold over 6.6 million two-wheelers in the Financial Year 2015-16. The Company has sold over 70 million motorcycles and scooters in cumulative sales since its inception. Hero MotoCorp currently sells its products in 35 countries across Asia, Africa and South and Central America.
Hero MotoCorp has five state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities – four of which are in India, while its first global facility became operational at Villa Rica in Colombia in September 2015. The Company’s second manufacturing facility at a global location is coming up in Bangladesh. Hero MotoCorp’s world class state-of-the-art R&D facility – the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) – is located in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan.
Hero MotoCorp has been associated with various disciplines of sports including golf, cricket, field hockey and soccer for over two decades. Fourteen-times major winner Tiger Woods is Hero's Global Corporate Partner.  Hero MotoCorp hosts the Tiger Woods invitational and PGA-sanctioned tournament – the Hero World Challenge – in Bahamas. Hero is also a partner of the British Masters.
About Asian Tour
As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. This unique feature positions the Asian Tour at the pinnacle of professional golf in Asia; providing its events with Official World Ranking status. Tour Partners include ECCO (Official Footwear Sponsor), FENIX XCell (Official Apparel Supplier), Hilton Worldwide (Official Hotel Partner), Titleist (Official Web Partner), Bloomberg TV (Official International Media Sponsor), Bloomberg Businessweek Chinese (Official Business Publication Sponsor) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). Sentosa, Singapore is the Home of the Asian Tour which also has an office in Kuala Lumpur.
About The European Tour
The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2017, the European Tour International Schedule features a minimum of 48 tournaments in 26 countries, all part of the Race to Dubai, the year-long competition which crowns the European Tour Number One at the end of the season, a title claimed in 2016 by Henrik Stenson for the second time.
Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 27 Members celebrate a total of 53 Major Championship titles between them, enjoyed ten Members attaining the pinnacle of World Number One and has celebrated its diversity as players from 36 different countries have won on the Tour.
The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which featured 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which featured 13 tournaments in nine countries in 2016. It is also the Managing Partner of Ryder Cup Europe, the body which, alongside the PGA of America, administers golf’s greatest team contest, The Ryder Cup.
The European Tour broadcasts live coverage of its tournaments to more than 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2,200 global broadcast hours for each event. It also enjoys the support of many of the world’s leading business brands with Rolex, BMW, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates and Titleist as Official Partners.
About Nimbus Sport:
Nimbus Sport is the full service sports marketing division of Nimbus Communications Ltd., specializing in Rights Distribution and Management, Television Production, Sponsorship Services and Event Management.
Nimbus Sport has been involved in managing rights transactions worth over USD 3 billion to date, among the largest in Asia. It has extensive experience of rights management and/or television production with multiple sports federations and dozens of major sponsors. It is a leading producer of World Feeds of Live sports events with over 4500 hours of Live content delivered and also manages best-in-class sports events.