Golfer Atwal confident ahead of Diamond Cup

Ibaraki (Japan), Sep 19 (IANS) Indian golfer Arjun Atwal is looking forward to a good performance when the Asia-Pacific Open Mitsubishi Diamond Cup starts here next week.

Atwal, who ended his four-year title drought at the Dubai Open last December, has not exactly set the turf on fire this season, having missed out on the cut at the Barracuda Championship and Wyndham Championship last month.

But the 42-year-old from Kolkata, who was crowned the Asian Tour Order of Merit winner in 2001, is confident of producing his best form here.

“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,” Atwal was quoted as saying in a statement.

Atwal also asserted that he will not be surprised if an asian golfer won this year’s tournament, which will be played at the Otone County Club from September 24-27.

“Obviously, it’s been getting better on the Asian Tour every year. Back in the day, it was rare to see Asian Tour players winning European Tour events. It happened once in a while. Now if an Asian Tour member doesn’t win, it will be surprising. You know that one of our players can win anytime,” he explained.

Apart from Atwal, S.S.P. Chawrasia will be the other top contender from India.

Apart from the Indian duo, Thaworn Wiratchant of Thailand, a two-time Asian Tour number one, Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines, Scott Hend of Australia and Liang Wen-chong of China will be some of the other prominent players from the Asian Tour.

Thanyakon Khrongpha of Thailand, Seukhyun Baek of South Korea, Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines and Paul Peterson of the United States are among a bunch of talented yongsters who will aim for their first career victory.

Japanese star Ryo Ishikawa will spearhead the local challenge.

The tournament has a total prize money of $1.2 million.

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