Kuala Lumpur: Indian star Arjun Atwal will make a long-awaited return on the Asian Tour when he features in the CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi in Korea next week and the Venetian Macau Open later this month.
The former Asian number one, who is the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour when he claimed victory at the 2010 Wyndham Championship, is returning from a six-week layoff to recuperate from injuries which has plagued his 2013 season.
The 40-year-old, who last played on the Asian Tour at the 2010 Hero Indian Open, said: "I'm just excited to come back to Asia to play again and see some faces I haven't seen in a while. I want to also try to gain back some confidence in my game."
He will tee up in the USD 750,000 CJ Invitational Hosted by KJ Choi at the Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Club from October 10 to 13 before heading to the Macau Golf and Country Club for the USD 800,000 Venetian Macau Open, which will be headlined by four-time Major champion Ernie Els and title holder Gaganjeet Bhullar.
Atwal won the Order of Merit in 2003 to become India's first Asian number one before finding fame in the United States. Injuries have curtailed his career in the past few years which restricted his schedule to 18 tournaments on the PGA Tour and Web.Com Tour this year, based on his past champion's status.
Asia is still very close to his heart and Atwal said he would continue to compete on the Asian Tour, which is celebrating its milestone 10th season in 2013, whenever the opportunity arises.
"I took six weeks off from golf to heal. It's the longest break that I've taken since turning professional. I'm feeling better now...getting old!" said Atwal.
"I will get about eight starts on the PGA Tour and Web.Com Tour next season which is through my past champion's category. And then I will try to play some on the Asian Tour," he added.
Atwal has registered seven Asian Tour victories in his illustrious career, with the last in the region being the Maybank Malaysian Open in 2008.
He has long been a strong supporter of the Asian Tour, saying the region's premier Tour provided the foundation for him to become a champion.
"My first Qualifying School was in 1995 in Asia and just to learn how to make cuts and finally be in contention and finally win, all those I learnt on the Asian Tour. Those were the best years of my life. I still say it. I had so much fun and everyone are so close. You still see the guys out here, it's great," said Atwal.