Atwal stays alive in Tour card battle #UBSHKOpen

Sat 10 Dec 2016

Atwal stays alive in Tour card battle #UBSHKOpen


Hong Kong, December 10: Former Asian Tour number one Arjun Atwal fired a third round of four-under-par 66 at the UBS Hong Kong Open to brighten his hopes of retaining his full playing rights next year.

The 43-year-old was disappointed to bogey his last hole with a three-putt at a sun-kissed Hong Kong Golf Club but five birdies on the card pushed him up to tied 19th position with one round to play for the 2016 season.

Currently in 69th position on the Order of Merit, Atwal needs to break into the top-60 on Sunday to keep his full card and needs to earn US$16,000 here to overhaul current 60th ranked Shunya Takeyasu, who is not playing this week.

Marcus Fraser of Australia Marcus Fraser of Australia

Atwal said he has not calculated the mathematics for his Tour survival. Finishing alone in 33rd position is worth US$16,000.

“Not really. I know I'm close. Because everybody else keeps telling me,” Atwal responded when asked if he knew where he needed to finish on Sunday.

“I think about it, then probably I won't be able to play. I know I'm outside the number looking in. First thing was to make the cut, because my back wasn't all that great the first two days. Couldn't practice or anything. You know, if I play solid tomorrow, I think I should be all right.”

Atwal, the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour, was simply glad to he managed to stay in the UBS Hong Kong Open following back trouble at the start of the week.

“I played in the Pro-Am and it got tight in the morning, and it just kept progressively getting bad, and I've already pulled out of two tournaments this year, one on the PGA Tour and one on the European Tour.

“And I knew this was the symptoms coming up. I went to the physio (Phillipa Stewart) and I wanted to hit balls and she said no. I just laid off it, and half-swings on Thursday. I think I hit six greens or something and shot even par. Got everything out of it.

“Then yesterday was a little bit better, the back, and then today was a lot better. I'm looking forward it tomorrow. I want to shoot a low one tomorrow.”

"I think about it, then probably I won't be able to play. I know I'm outside the number looking in." - Arjun Atwal

Several players lost their full cards after missing the halfway cut on Friday, with amongst others being Singapore’s Mardan Mamat, Spaniard Javi Colomo, Australian Scott Barr, American Jason Knutzon and Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera.

Young Thai Jazz Janewattananond, who needs to finish higher than 31st position to break into the top-60, carded a disappointing 72 in the third round to slip back to a share of 65th position.

In the Order of Merit battle title, Australia’s Marcus Fraser, who needs a win to have a chance of toppling Scott Hend, shot a 68 for a share of 39th position while the current number one Hend double bogeyed his last hole for a 70 to be in tied 28th position, with potentially the champagne being put on the ice to celebrate his imminent crowning as the new Asian Tour number one.

About UBS Group AG

Scott Hend of Australia Scott Hend of Australia

UBS provides financial advice and solutions to wealthy, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, as well as private clients in Switzerland. The operational structure of the Group is comprised of our Corporate Center and five business divisions: Wealth Management, Wealth Management Americas, Personal & Corporate Banking, Asset Management and the Investment Bank. UBS's strategy builds on the strengths of all of its businesses and focuses its efforts on areas in which it excels, while seeking to capitalize on the compelling growth prospects in the businesses and regions in which it operates, in order to generate attractive and sustainable returns for its shareholders. All of its businesses are capital-efficient and benefit from a strong competitive position in their targeted markets.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 54 countries, with about 34% of its employees working in the Americas, 35% in Switzerland, 18% in the rest of Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 13% in Asia Pacific. UBS Group AG employs approximately 60,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

About Mega Events Fund

This year the “UBS Hong Kong Open” is sponsored by the Mega Events Fund of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government. The Fund was set up in 2009 to support mega arts, cultural, sports and entertainment events to be staged in Hong Kong. With the approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, the operation of the Fund has been extended for five years until the end of March 2017 with a view to attracting more internationally acclaimed mega events to Hong Kong and reinforcing Hong Kong’s position as the events capital of Asia.

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 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.

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About The European Tour

The European Tour celebrates men’s professional golf on a global stage. In 2016, the European Tour International Schedule features 47 tournaments in 27 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 2015 by Rory McIlroy for the third time.

Since its formation in 1972, the European Tour has witnessed 25 Members celebrate a total of 51 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 Tour. The European Tour also manages the Challenge Tour, which features 28 tournaments in 22 countries in 2016, and the Senior Tour, which features 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 over 490 million homes in more than 150 countries every week, generating in excess of 2200 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.