Back-in-form Atwal ready for #HIO2015

Fri 30 Jan 2015

Back-in-form Atwal ready for #HIO2015

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Delhi, January 30: Indian ace Arjun Atwal will feature at the US$1.5 million Hero Indian Open with renewed confidence after returning to the winner’s circle last month.
Atwal, India’s first PGA TOUR winner and 2003 Asian Tour number one, completed a career turnaround when he secured an emphatic victory in Dubai in December to end a frustrating four-year title drought.
The 41-year-old will now turn his attention towards his National Open which will be sanctioned by the Asian Tour and European Tour for the first time in its storied history at the Delhi Golf Club from February 19 to 22.
“Winning in Dubai, I think it’s maybe even a greater feeling (compared to his win at the 2010 Wydham Championship on the PGA TOUR) because of the way things went the last two years. I didn’t think I would play again or compete again.  Especially when I had the back and the hip injury, I couldn’t walk,” said Atwal.
The 1999 Indian Open winner will spearhead the local charge alongside Anirban Lahiri, who finished second on the Order of Merit last year, two-time Asian Tour winner Rashid Khan and S.S.P. Chowrasia, who has recorded two wins on the region’s premier Tour at the Delhi Golf Club.
Flamboyant Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez, a 21-time European Tour winner, will also feature in the 51st edition of the Hero Indian Open.
It was a challenging last few seasons for Atwal but he was able to bounce back thanks to the strong support from his family and close friend Tiger Woods.
“We’ve (Tiger) been there for each other.  It’s almost to the point where we’re like there are very few friends in the world that will be there for you when you need them the most, and he’s one of them. And I’m there for him, as well.  So you know, going through this two years of struggle, he’s always been nothing but positive,” said Atwal.
“My dad, my wife, everybody, my whole family has been really supportive of me.  Especially like the really dark days when I really didn’t think I could play anymore, they have never let me believe that, you know, I wouldn’t be playing,” he added.
The Hero Indian Open has been synonymous with the rise of golf in India, and has been at the forefront of unearthing some of the best golfing talents that the country has seen, including the likes of Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar.
It has also attracted an impressive array of international players in the past, with Ryder Cup stars Peter Hanson and Edoardo Molinari, Englishman James Morrison, two-time European Tour winner Richie Ramsay, Swedes Rikard Karlberg and Daniel Chopra, as well as victorious Ryder Cup Captain Paul McGinley all having played previously.
About Hero MotoCorp
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer in terms of unit volumes sold in a calendar year by a single company. The company sold over 6.64 million two-wheelers in the calendar year 2014. The New Delhi, India-headquartered Hero MotoCorp currently sells its range of motorbikes and scooters in 23 countries spread across Asia, Africa and South and Central America. By the year 2020, Hero aims to be present in 50 countries with an annual combined sales volume of 12 million units. By that year, Hero also aims to surpass the cumulative sales of 100 million two-wheelers.
For over two decades, Hero has been associated with various disciplines of sports including golf, cricket and hockey. In the biggest-ever celebrity brand endorsement initiative by an Indian company, Hero MotoCorp in 2014 signed on 14 times major champion Tiger Woods as its Global Corporate Partner. Top Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri, Shiv Kapur, Gaganjeet Bhullar and Daniel Chopra and India’s top woman professional Sharmila Nicollet are also Hero brand ambassadors.
Hero has been sponsoring the men’s Indian Open since 2006 and the Women’s Indian Open since 2010. Hero also sponsors India’s domestic Pro Tour for women. Hero last year became the title sponsor of the Tiger Woods Invitational – the Hero World Challenge – which is also a PGA Tour event.
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 FENIX Golf (Official Apparel Partner), Inetol Headwear (Official Headwear Sponsor), Oakley (Official Eyewear and Footwear Sponsor), PRG (Official Accessories Supplier), Srixon (Official Ball), Titleist (Official Web Partner) 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 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 2015, will feature a minimum of 47 tournaments spread across five continents; 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 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 2 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.