Kolkata :Displaced from the top spot by Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods might be struggling at the moment but the American should not be written off as he is a "different animal" altogether, Indian ace Arjun Atwal said.
Atwal, who was felicitated by his club RCGC here last night for being the first Indian to win a US PGA Tour title (Wyndham Championship in August), said Woods has it in him to become the most dominant sportsperson ever by bettering 18 Majors won by Jack Nicklaus.
Woods separated from his wife Elin Nordegren last year after his numerous affairs became public and their divorce was finalised in August.
But Atwal, who is a good friend of Woods besides being his practice partner, said 2011 would belong to the American for he would come back with a bang.
"Mentally, he has changed a lot in the last two months. Post-divorce, he is a different person altogether. He has had a couple of top 10 finishes and slowly he is getting back to the groove. I can bet 2011 will be his year."
Asked if Woods is the greatest sportperson, Atwal disagreed and said Nicklaus and Roger Federer are the most dominant players ever in an individual sport.
"Nicklaus has won 18 Majors. Tiger has it in him to be the most dominant player by beating Nicklaus' record," he said.
"Tiger is a different animal altogether... He has this ability to beat anyone. I am not saying hes superhuman, but he has this innate ability to beat anyone. An amazing guy, I must say."
Asked when he would win a Major, Atwal replied: "Majors are very tough to win because of the pressure built around it, taking a toll on a player. I have spoken to some Major winners. They told me they treat Majors just like any other PGA tournament."
"I have played 13 tournaments this year and missed the cut in two -- one being a Major. Now, I'll approach it as if I'm playing for fun," he said.
The 37-year-old, who is here for the first time after winning the US PGA Tour title in August, said there is no short cut to success.
"Hard work... It's no secret. If you're working hard, work harder and smartly. That doesn't mean you work hard from morning to night. I mean you work hard for seven months and see no improvement then you have to change your style, that's smart hard work."
Atwal felt nostalgic while recalling his golfing days in the RCGC where he started off as a 13-year-old.
"I think I was 13-14 years. My father brought me to the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC). I met this caddie called Paltu who showed me around the range. I hit a few shots and got hooked into the game."
Atwal will be practising at RCGC before setting off for New Delhi for the Indian Open from December 2-5.