Atwal credits Woods for helping him end title drought

By Ryan LavnerDecember 22, 2014, 4:56 pm

Count Tiger Woods among the fans who were keeping a close eye on the proceedings in Dubai. 

Arjun Atwal had a share of the 54-hole lead at the Asian Tour’s Dubai Open, so Woods sent his close friend a text on the eve of the final round.

“Shoot 2 under a side; shoot 68 and you should be good,” Woods said in the message, according to Gulf News

“He was wrong,” joked Atwal.

Indeed, the 41-year-old former Indian No. 1 needed a final-round 66 and a little help from Korean teen Jeung-hun Wang to win by a shot and snap a four-year winless drought. He was playing on his fifth consecutive sponsor exemption.   

Atwal and Woods were frequent practice-round partners when Atwal was on the PGA Tour full-time. He won once on Tour, in 2010, but in recent years he’s battled nagging injuries and a slumping game. He said Sunday that he recently considered giving up the game, but Woods has been something of an inspiration for him. 

“Going through his two years of struggle, he’s always been nothing but positive,” Atwal told reporters. “I’ve spent some time with him, and he’s always guided me on the right way I should go with my game or my health, and how to go about rehabbing … 

“There’s 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.”

Woods touched on his relationship with Atwal during a press conference at the Hero World Challenge earlier this month. Woods has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Hero, the India-based company that bills itself as the largest manufacturer of two-wheelers. 

“Arjun was supposed to be here to play,” Woods said. “Unfortunately – actually, fortunately, he’s in some Asian events and playing over there. We talked at length about it, and I’m excited for him. He’s playing over there and trying to get his game back and trying to get back out here on Tour. 

“Arjun and I have been fantastic friends, and the people that he’s introduced me to from India that came over here besides his family, they couldn’t have been nicer.” 

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Koepka primed for CJ Cup win and world No. 1

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 6:00 am

Brooks Koepka wants a 2-for-1 at the CJ Cup. If he can collect his second non-major PGA Tour victory he can become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.

He’s in great position to accomplish his goal.

Koepka eagled the par-5 18th en route to a 7-under 65 in the second round at Nine Bridges in Juju Island, South Korea. At 8 under par, he is one back of 36-hole leader Scott Piercy (65).

Koepka, currently ranked third in the world, began the day three shots off the lead, but rapidly ascended the leaderboard. He birdied four of his first eight holes before finding trouble at the ninth. Koepka hooked his tee shot out of bounds, but the ninth is a par 5 and he was able to salvage bogey.


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That was his only dropped shot of the day.

The reigning Tour Player of the Year birdied the 12th and 14th holes in his bid to keep pace with Piercy. Koepka was two back as he played his final hole, where he knocked his second shot to 10 feet. He deftly converted the eagle effort to tie Piercy and earn a spot in Saturday’s final twosome. Piercy later pulled a shot ahead with a birdie at the ninth, his final hole of the day.

Koepka has officially won four PGA Tour events, but three of those are majors (2017, ’18 U.S. Open; 2018 PGA). His lone non-major win was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open.

He can still reach world No. 1 with a solo second place, assuming Justin Thomas, currently world No. 4, doesn’t win this week.

That will take a mighty weekend effort by the defending champ.

Thomas also eagled the 18th hole to go from 1 over to 1 under. He shot 2-under 70 in the second round and is seven shots off the lead.

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'Go in'? Yes, JT wants an ace at the par-4 14th

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 5:11 am

Justin Thomas didn’t hesitate after hitting his tee shot on the 353-yard, par-4 14th in Round 2 of the CJ Cup.

“Go in,” he immediately said.

“Please go in,” he added.



Thomas’ tee shot was on a great line, but it landed just short of the green. Surprisingly, it took three more shots for his ball to "go in." After birdies on Nos. 12 and 13, Thomas parred the 14th.

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Watch: Dufner makes six (!) fist pumps after birdie

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 4:53 am

Jason Dufner makes Ben Stein seem like Jonathan Winters. Dufner often looks mighty miserable for someone who plays golf for a living.

But not on Friday at the CJ Cup!

Dufner made a 20-footer for birdie at the 16th hole and “celebrated” with one-two-three-(pause)-four-five-six fist pumps. There could have been more, but the camera cut away.



That was Dufner’s third birdie on the back nine, which offset a triple bogey at the par-3 seventh, en route to an even-par 72. Good times.

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Watch: Paul C-ace-y makes hole-in-one at CJ Cup

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 2:35 am

Par-par-par-par-par-par. It was a boring second round over the first six holes for Paul Casey at the CJ Cup.

And then he aced the par-3 seventh.



Casey's tee shot from 176 tracked straight towards the hole and rolled in near the final revolution. That got him to 2 under par for the tournament. He was five off the lead, held by Chez Reavie, but bogeyed the ninth and 10th holes to give back those two strokes.

Hey, it's a no-cut event and a guaranteed paycheck. Drinks on Casey!