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.
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 Masters.com):
- 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