Posts Tagged ‘Arjun Atwal’

Clarke High School/Nassau CC alumnus Arjun Atwal during the first round of the Masters. Credit: DON EMMERT/Getty Images

Am I surprised Arjun Atwal missed the cut of his first Masters?  Not really.  Am I surprised he shot 80 in the first round?  Absolutely.  Apparently his practice rounds/talks with Tiger didn’t go over too well.

RELATED: My story for about Atwal’s Masters Appearance

Atwal got his tail dusted at Augusta National on Thursday, opening up with the second highest round of the day (along with ’82 Masters Champ Craig Stadler), just three shots better than Henrik Stenson’s 83.

This included bogeys on 4,5 and doubles on 10, 13, and 18.  However, it also included a brilliant eagle at the 15th and a birdie on 8.

Atwal displayed the mental toughness needed for the season’s first Major, and made a tremendous rebound on Friday.  Well, until he reached the 18th green.  He played a bogey-free one under 35 on the front (birdied the par-5 2nd), and was two under on the backside (birdies on 10,12,15, bogey on 15).

On 18, he faced a tricky six-footer for par to a middle pin.  He hit his first putt long left, then proceeded to rim out his tap-in, revealing a grin as he witnessed his misfortune.  The double there put him at 71, nine shots better than the previous day.

Regardless, Long Islanders should not only proud, but envious of the man who secured his spot in the Masters and on the PGA Tour last season with his clutch win at the Wyndham Championship.  We’ll continue to keep an eye on Atwal throughout the season, including the next three majors.

Here are a few stats from Atwal’s first appearance at the Masters (*From

  • Hit 18/36 greens in regulation
  • Hit 17/28 fairways
  • 0/3 on sand saves
  • 57 total putts in two rounds
  • Averaged 279 yards off the tee
  • His longest drive 281 yards

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This is one of the few weeks all year where I do not relate many posts to Long Island.  Unless of course Arjun Atwal drives down Magnolia Lane Sunday night wearing a Green Jacket with a yellow emblem on it.

But I’m not sure you, the loyal reader, minds very little because it is the Masters, after all.

So throughout the week I’ll be sharing my favorite Masters memories, most of which I only read and heard about and didn’t witness with my own eyes.  But they will all relate somehow to the 2011 version.

Also, follow me on twitter (@AJVoelpel) as I’ll be getting my Masters on all damn week.

  • It’s been 25 years since Nicklaus’ charge at the Masters. Also 25 years since Seve’s water chunk on 15 and Norman’s wide right on 18.
  • @defiantlydutch replied to me on twitter: “I was in 7th grade for Nicklaus’ miracle W. I don’t think I want to know how old u were (or weren’t)!”  I was in fact one year and two months old.  But I was definitely watching.
  • Geez: 1,2,5,9,11,13,18. Augusta National houses more doglegs than Cruella De Vil
  • It’s been 50 years since Gary Player became The Masters first international victor. Thanks to a helping hand behind 15 green on Saturday.
  • And since this is the 75th version of The Masters, we may as well pay homage to Horton Smith for winning the first one. And third.
  • Player’s 3 Masters wins (’61,’75,’78) netted him 100k. Crenshaw’s ’84 victory earned him 108k, the tourney’s 1rst century check.
  • In addition to Nicklaus, it’s the 25th anniversary of Jim Nantz calling his first Masters. He was 26. I’m 26 and writing this.
  • Since it’s been 40 years, let’s celebrate Charles Coody’s Masters win in ’71. He only out dueled J. Miller and Jack on the back 9 by making birdies on 15 & 16 to win by two shots.
  • Forget 25 years of Jack, how bout 60 years since Hogan’s first Masters win in ’51. A bogey-free 68 Sunday earned him a cool $1.5K.
  • 15 years later we still feel for Greg Norman & his Sunday 78 in ’96 to blow a six-shot lead. But what about Ken Venturi’s 80 in ’56 that melted a 4-shot lead?
  • 20 years ago, Maxfli began producing balls reluctant to roll down steep, slippery banks. Good thing Couples picked one up in ’92.
  • No, there’s no running at Augusta. Except when Jack eagles 15 and birdies 16 & 17 to take the lead. Must. Get. To 18 green!
  • The Masters was first televised in ’56. Just in time to see Jackie Burke Jr. come from 8 back on Sunday to claim his first jacket.
  • 59 years ago, Ben Hogan began the very proud tradition- Master’s Champion’s Dinner. Which Sandy Lyle ruined in ’89 by serving Haggis.
  • Yup, it’s been 50 years since Player’s first Masters win. It’s also 50 years since Arnie’s double bogey on 18 (needed par to win) let him.
  • 4-day badges going for $4,018 on That’s $18 more than Ben Hogan won for his second jacket in ’53

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Atwal giving Tiger a laugh during the 2011 Travistock Cup

The friendship of Arjun Atwal and Tiger Woods isn’t any secret, so it was no surprise to see them paired together today for the annual Travistock Cup at Isleworth G&CC.

Atwal, who began his golfing career exactly as I did (graduated from Clarke HS in Westbury, played golf at Nassau Community College), broke out on the PGA Tour last year with his thrilling victory at the Wyndham Championship.  The win not only provided the India-native with over a $1 million paycheck, but an invite to the Masters.

So yes, the same schools, sports, etc.  He was just a tad better.

Our golf coach at NCC, Larry DellAquila (an amazing guy), was always speaking of Atwal’s uncanny ability and dedication.  In one instance, he described a time where Atwal was struggling with his game during a tournament on the Black.  Before the next round, Atwal told DellAquila he found something in his swing and was ready to light the course up.  Dude shot a 68 and won the tourney.

That’s just one of many tales from famed NCC golf coach Larry Dell Aquilla.

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