In The Matter Of Arjun Atwal


Heres what we dont know: How fast the 2006 BMW sedan of Arjun Atwal was going late Saturday afternoon when it ran off the road near his Florida home.
Heres what we do know: The 2006 Mercedes Benz Coupe of John Noah Park was reportedly traveling faster than 100 miles an hour.
Arjun Atwal
Arjun Atwal has competed in 89 career PGA TOUR events. (WireImage)
Heres what we dont know: How Atwal, a member of the PGA TOUR, survived after what at least one witness characterized as a drag race with Park on a winding stretch of southbound CR 535.
Heres what we do know: Parks car, engaged with Atwals in some fashion, ran off the road, hit a tree, disintegrated almost instantly and resulted in Parks death.
Heres what we dont know: Where exactly the investigation into Atwals involvement, currently being conducted by law enforcement officials, will lead.
Heres what we do know: Atwals agent, Robert Kreusler, released a statement late Sunday that said this: Arjun, his wife Sona, and the remainder of his family extend their deepest condolences to the family of Mr. John N. Park, even though Arjun cannot fathom the unimaginable pain that his family must be going through. Their constant thoughts and prayers are with the Park family at this time. Arjun would very much like to address the media about the circumstances of this accident, but obviously cannot do so at this time because of the investigation being conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. We ask that members of the press and the public do not rush to make a judgment about what occurred here, because once all of the facts have been gathered and the investigation completed, it will become abundantly clear that this was simply a horrible accident and tragedy, with no one at fault.
Heres what we dont know: How such a tragedy involving at least one car traveling at such a dangerously high rate of speed could happen with no one being at fault. Nor do many of us understand how a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol assessing the alleged street race, could tell the Orlando Sentinel, Everyone does it. This just shows how much of a problem weve got.
(Heres what I know: I have watched Arjun Atwal patiently teaching the fundamentals of golf on the back range at the Golden Bear Club at Keenes Pointe with a young member of his family. I have never known Atwal to be arrogant or full of himself in any way. I have traveled with him on the same commercial plane to the U.S. Open and listened to his proud father tell me of the limited opportunities available to aspiring golfers in his native country of India.
Heres what I dont know: How soon I will be inclined to take the same stretch of CR 535 to GOLF CHANNELs studios. Depending on the time of day, it is a frequent route for my drive from home to work.)
Heres what we do know: The first right turn off of CR 535 after the location of Parks fatal crash is the same turn off that leads to the nearby Orange County National Golf Center & Lodge, the site of this years PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament. There is an element of The Twilight Zone to this fact.
Heres what we dont know: Why professional athletes, as a group, often gravitate toward fast cars and unsafe speeds.
Heres what we do know: They finished a PGA TOUR event near Tampa Sunday, 100 miles away and one day after Parks death. Mark Calcavecchia won and one of the story lines was how Calcavecchia has helped support his caddie, Eric Larson, even when Larson was in a federal penitentiary on drug-related charges. In another unusual development at the same tournament, Heath Slocum missed a short putt on the 72nd hole that allowed Calcavecchia to win. It was the second straight week a player has done that on the final hole of regulation. The previous Sunday in West Palm Beach a player named Boo Weekley was the one who missed the short putt. Strangely, Slocum and Weekley were once high school golf teammates in rural north Florida.
Heres what we dont know: Why it had to come to pass that all of those details would pale in importance at the moment when compared to the death of John Noah Park and the life of Arjun Atwal.
Right now there is a lot more that all of us dont know than we do know in the matter of these two men and their fatal Saturday encounter.
But we do know this: The death of one man is certain and unchangeable while the future of another is uncertain and changed forever.
And it all happened way too fast.
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