Indian golfer Arjun Atwal has claimed Tiger Woods is very close to his best form ahead of the US Open at Pebble Beach.

Atwal, who is a neighbour and regular playing partner of the world number one, has been singing the praises of Woods ahead of the year’s second Major.

“His practices have been really good the last couple of weeks at home. Every day it has got better,” said Atwal.

“He feels he is very close. It is just a matter of when the bell goes off if he can do it then. I think he will.”

Despite Woods‘ well-documented struggle since his return to golf, the 37-year-old from Kolkata believes the American can add to his Major tally.

“He is close, very close,” said Atwal. “In fact, Sunday was a lot better and then Monday got a lot better. It’s amazing the improvement.”

Woods will also be wary of Phil Mickelson’s presence at the top of the world rankings – the current world number one has held his position since June 12, 2005 but the recent Masters champion has closed the gap in 2010.

Second place at the US Open will see ‘Lefty’ move to the top of the world rankings if Woods finishes outside the top four. If Woods makes it to the weekend but finishes outside of the top 18, Mickelson would topple him with a third place finish, and a tie for third would be good enough for the left-hander if Woods misses the cut.

The US Open gets underway on Thursday, June 17.

Where next?

US Open news
US Open blogs
US Open pictures
US Open history and records
Pebble Beach hole-by-hole