Round By Round

The average golf fan who watches the PGA Tour on the weekend couldn’t pick out Arjun Atwal in a crowd. Neither could I, really.

Atwal’s never made a cut in a major tournament (he’s only played in a couple), hasn’t won on the PGA Tour and doesn’t wear his own initials on a baseball cap.

This week is going well for the Indian golfer. He’s in a tie for first place early on at the AT&T National, which acts as Tiger’s tournament in Philly.

Atwal’s been in the thick of it before – both on and off the course. In 2005, Atwal almost won the BellSouth Classic. In a five-man playoff, Atwal rinsed his second shot and finished in a tie for 4th place.

Things were worse for Atwal in the spring of 2007. Street racing with someone on a Windermere, Florida road, Atwal’s buddy lost the race – and his life. There was an investigation into the crash that lasted a year but no charges were filed against Atwal. Since then, the 33-year-old golfer has won on the European and Asian Tour. He played in his first U.S. Open a few weeks ago at Pebble Beach.

He’s trying to get his professional life back on track. Seven birdies in a round won’t cure three years of nightmares.

Still, it’s a good day.

Atwal sure could use one of those.

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