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April 6 2011

5:35 PM

Atwal says Tiger is ‘close’

 

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Arjun Atwal and Tiger Woods practiced together at Augusta National on Wednesday.

By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM Site Producer

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Arjun Atwal sees Tiger Woods’ game more than just about anyone. The two are good friends and practice nearly every day together at Isleworth.

So what does Atwal think of Woods’ chances at the Masters?

“He’s really close,” Atwal said. “Like he said, if he could just bring it out … it’s time to bring it out. I think he’s going to do just fine around here because it’s like his home golf course. It’s just a mater of him bringing it from the range to here.”

Last year of course Woods tied for fourth at Augusta National, where he made his return from a five-month hiatus amid a swirl of personal trials and tribulations.

And he’s won this tournament four times, though the last was in 2005.

“At home [his game] is really good,” Atwal continued. “When the bell goes off it’s a different story and you have to make putts under the gun.”

So far, that’s been the problem for Woods, whose best finish this year was a tie for 10th at TPC Blue Monster at Doral after a final-round 66.

Two weeks ago at Bay Hill, Woods shot his highest score in more than 10 years at the event, a 73, in the opening round before finishing in a tie for 24th -- his lowest finish there since a tie for 56th in 1999.

Not that Woods is bothered by no longer being the favorite at the Masters.

“He’s the same,” Atwal said. “He doesn’t care about what people think about him being the favorite or not. His mindset is always the same.”

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