Atwal relishing return to Singapore
Singapore : Still basking in the glory of a career-reviving victory on the US PGA Tour, Indian golfer Arjun Atwal will join a star-studded field in chasing his second trophy of the season at next week`s USD six million Barclays Singapore Open.
Atwal had made history by becoming the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour with his one-stroke victory in the Wyndham Championship in August.
Atwal, who topped the Asian Tour Order of Merit in 2003 before furthering his career in the United States, will be chasing a first prize of USD one million in the joint richest event on the European Tour outside of the Majors and the World Golf Championships.
Titleholder Ian Poulter of England and the four Major champions of 2010 headline the strongest line-up ever for the Barclays Singapore Open at Sentosa Golf Club from November 11-14.
Ulsterman Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion, and Germany`s Martin Kaymer, who beat Bubba Watson in a playoff to win the US PGA Championship, will star alongside Masters champion Phil Mickelson and British Open winner Louis
Oosthuizen of South Africa.
Three-time Major champion Padraig Harrington, a European Ryder Cup teammate of Poulter, McDowell and Kaymer, Asia`s first Ma jor winner YE Yang of Korea and Australia`s Adam Scott, back-to-back Singapore Open winner in 2005 and 2006, will also play in what is widely regarded as "Asia`s Major".
The 37-year-old Atwal, a regular practice partner of Tiger Woods in the United States, is looking forward to returning to the Lion City where he earned his European Tour card in 2002 with victory in the Singapore Masters.
"Singapore holds a lot of good memories for me and I amdelighted to be playing in the Barclays Singapore Open, one of Asia`s biggest tournaments," said Atwal, who has won seven times on the Asian Tour.
"My win in the United States has given me a lot of confidence and I am hungry for more victories."
His triumph in the Wyndham Championship could not have come at a better time as he had lost his PGA Tour card in July because he was too low on the money-list when his minor medical exemption ran out.
As well as becoming the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour, he was the first Monday qualifier to triumph since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open.
The first prize of USD 918,000 bumped up his season`s winnings to USD 1,507,143 ranking him 55th on the money-list.
For the second year running the Barclays Singapore Open will be joint-sanctioned by the Asian Tour and The European Tour and for the first time a field of 204 players will
compete on both The Serapong and The Tanjong Courses.