PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – India’s Arjun Atwal’s comeback trail includes a stop at his first U.S. Open and comes into Pebble Beach in good form.
He has finished in the top 25 in his past three starts – T-10 at the Nationwide Tour’s Athens Classic, and T-17 and T-7 at the PGA Tour’s Valero Texas Open and HP Byron Nelson Championship, respectively.
Atwal missed more than four months last season because of a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The injury had some unexpected benefits. He has been working with Australian instructor Dale Lynch on changing his swing to put less pressure on his shoulder.
The changes – namely, a decreased leg drive on the downswing – have caused him to hit the ball higher and have resulted in some good play this year.
Atwal finished 17th on the Nationwide Tour money list in 2008, thanks to a victory, runner-up and three other top-10 showings, to earn a PGA Tour card. Atwal injured his shoulder that offseason, and tried to play through the pain at the beginning of last season. After mediocre showings in his first four events, he sat out from March to early July. After he returned, he made just one of eight cuts.
“When I came back, I was still hurt. I was stupid, like every other athlete who can’t sit at home for five months,” Atwal said. “It was bad, but it’s better now.”