Atwal aims to turn back the clock

Wed 16 Apr 2014

Atwal aims to turn back the clock

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Kuala Lumpur, April 16: India’s Arjun Atwal hopes to relaunch his career with a strong showing at this week’s US$2.75 million Maybank Malaysian Open, an event he has won twice previously.
The former Asian Tour number one will be making his first appearance of the season at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club’s West course in a top-class field which includes Lee Westwood, Louis Oosthuizen, Thongchai Jaidee and Kiradech Aphibanrat.
“It’s good to be back, always fun to be here,” said Atwal, winner of the Malaysian Open in 2003 and 2008.
“But I don’t know how the game will be as I haven’t played competitively since last year’s Indian Open. It’s a little rusty but at least the body doesn’t feel bad unlike last year where I was struggling.”
Atwal, the first Indian to win a PGA Tour title, has slipped down the golfing echelons following a string of injuries. His last tournament was at the Asian Tour’s Hero Indian Open in November where he finished tied 61st.
But with his health in better shape now following months of rehab, Atwal, who turned 41 last month, hopes to find the second wind in his career which has yielded seven Asian Tour victories and the 2010 Wyndham Championship in the United States.
“I have a bunch of friends who are in their 40s or are over 40s on Tour. They give me a lot of inspiration, players like Steve Stricker, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk – these guys are still going strong and are great examples. Age is nothing. If you’re healthy, it’s not a big deal,” said Atwal.
The biggest challenge for Atwal this season is to ensure that he gets into tournaments, whether in the US or in Asia due to his exemption status.
“I need to Monday quality in a few in the US and hope to get a few sponsors’ exemptions into tournaments. Hopefully I will get into eight to 10 tournaments this year. We’ll see how that goes.
“I want to spend a little more time in Asia but it’s really hard with my kids, it’s tough travelling all the way here from the US. I don’t have a concrete plan yet,” he said.
The good news for Atwal is that he’s almost pain-free playing golf these days.
“The past few months, I’ve been on rehab, trying to get stronger with my back and left knee. It’s getting better. I can practice a little bit more, which I couldn’t do at all last year. The game feels alright,” he said.
He has hooked up with his old Malaysian caddie this week in hope of producing some of his old magic at the Maybank Malaysian Open.
“I’m using the same Malaysian caddie, Rosli on the bag. He’s still the same ... he doesn’t care about anything and just goes out to carry the bag which is a good thing.”
About Maybank
The Maybank Group is South East Asia’s fourth largest bank by assets. It has an international network of over 2,200 offices in 20 countries namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong SAR & People’s Republic of China, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Laos, Pakistan, India, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and the United States of America.  The Group offers an extensive range of products and services, which includes consumer and corporate banking, investment banking, Islamic banking, stock broking, insurance and takaful and asset management. It has over 47,000 employees serving more than 22 million customers worldwide. (www.maybank.com)
About the Malaysian Golf Association
The Malaysian Golf Association (MGA) is the sole governing body of golf in Malaysia that was founded in 1929 by representatives of golf clubs to promote the sport while preserving its traditions and integrity. The non-government organization is run by passionate volunteers who have a love for the game of golf, with the help of a team of management staff. The association’s portfolios have increased over the years ranging from conducting 14 state amateur opens, national amateur open, national amateur close, Malaysian Open to processing handicaps through its National Handicap System to promoting grassroots programs and training of athletes to represent Malaysia in international events.
The European Tour
The European Tour is committed to celebrating the game of golf from the origins of the professional game, building a proud history of achievement, sportsmanship and integrity as well as showcasing our diverse global talent and rich landscapes. The European Tour’s innovative approach enables us to embrace the world, combining championships of tradition with new tournaments in the cities and countries of the future. The European Tour International Schedule, which from 2009 has incorporated The Race to Dubai, is a thriving global brand which, in 2013, will feature a minimum of 45 tournaments spread across all five continents of the world; the European Challenge Tour focuses on the up and coming players of the future; while the European Senior Tour provides a new start for champions celebrating their 50th birthday. The European Tour’s corporate identity features the iconic silhouette image of six-time Open Champion Harry Vardon who gives his name to The Harry Vardon Trophy, presented to the player who is crowned European Tour Number One and winner of The Race to Dubai at the end of the season.
About the 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 Abacus (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), Saxo Capital Markets (Official Statistics Partner), Singha Beer (Official Beer), Srixon (Official Ball), Subway (Official Quick Service Restaurant) and Rolex (Official Timekeeper). The Asian Tour has offices in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Also, visit us at www.asiantour.com, www.facebook.com/asiantourgolf, www.twitter.com/asiantourgolf,www.youtube.com/theasiantour and www.weibo.com/asiantourgolf.
About Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club
Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club (KLGCC) is a member of Sime Darby Property Bhd and a propriety Club wholly-owned and operated by KLGCC Berhad. The club has won numerous accolades from both local and foreign golfing fraternity, the latest being voted the ‘Best Course in Malaysia’ for the second time in a row for its championship West Course at the 2013 Asian Golf Monthly Awards, the second runner up for the Best Championship Course in Asia Pacific and nominated as Top 10 Best in Asia Pacific for Best Clubhouse and Best Pro-Shop categories. At the same time, KLGCC was voted Best Golf Experience for the Best of Malaysia Awards 2013 Travel Awards by The Expatriate Lifestyle Magazine readers. Today, KLGCC is a landmark as the most luxurious golf resort development in Malaysia and KLGCC has in recent years hosted numerous international championships such as the Maybank Malaysian Open and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
About GlobalOne
GlobalOne (Emerald Evolution Holdings Sdn Bhd) is an executive lifestyle sports promoter and we create sports event ownerships. We specialise in providing the full spectrum in sponsorship event management and have an excellent track record in planning and delivering on PGA European Tour golf events for Malaysia (Maybank Malaysian Open), Singapore (Singapore Masters) and Indonesia (Indonesia Open) since 1999. We have strong relations with sports governing bodies, the media and commercial sponsors and technical partners to deliver on the bottom line. We assist all our clients to create super-strategic, high-return, best practice sponsorship to provide a strong, unified vision, across departments and stakeholders, of the broad range of marketing and business objectives that can be achieved through this sponsorship. We also form and maintain strong relationship with players managers to source the best players. GlobalOne currently stages a highly successful and prestigious tournament in Asia – the Maybank Malaysian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and the Asian Tour providing the event with Official World Ranking status. Our long term partners include Emirates (Official Airline), Carlsberg (Official Beer & Stout), Ricoh (Official Office Equipment),  Astro (Official Satellite TV), DoubleTree (Official Hotel), 100Plus (Official Isotonic Beverage), Crestlink (Official Apparel), Transview (Official Golf Accessories & Equipment), Mal-Tel (Official Radio & Communications), Spritzer (Official Water), Singleton (Official Whisky), Srixon (Official Range Balls), Havana (Official Cigars).