NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. – Arjun Atwal, Tiger Woods’ regular practice-round partner back home at Isleworth and when the two are playing the same event, said on Thursday what Woods has been saying for a few weeks now – he’s close.
“I played a practice round with him every day at (the U.S. Open) and he got better every day,” said Atwal, who is tied for the early lead at the AT&T National following a 4-under 66. “What gets me is how hard he works, even after 71 (Tour) victories, he’s always (at Isleworth) trying to get better.”
Atwal also inadvertently solidified the notion that although Woods was removed as the official host of this week’s event when AT&T dropped its sponsorship of him the world No. 1 is still very much involved in the event, which will benefit his charity foundation.
“He asked me why I wasn’t playing (AT&T) and I said I wasn’t in the field,” said Atwal, who is playing this season on a minor medical extension. “Last week (Woods) called and said I was in (as a sponsor exemption).”
The official host, whoever that is, must have been busy.