It was August 22, 2010 that Competitors in the PGA Tour were taken by a sudden surprise at Greensboro, in North Carolina. Of all the fancied names, who vied for the Wyndham championship title, it was a qualifier, who ultimately walked away with crowning glory. His name was Arjun Atwal and he came from India to create shockwave by a single stroke at the Sedgefield Country Club. Atwal also created a record to become the first Monday qualifier to win on the Tour in 24 years. On that Tour, Atwal either led or shared the lead after each of the first three rounds and shot a 3-under 67 in the final round. He finished at 20-under 260 and earned US $918,000 , which was more than double the amount he had earned in the entire year. It was a crucial game for Atwal since his future on PGA Tour had become uncertain. Arjun Atwal also went on record as the first Indian-born player and also the first to win as qualifier in the tournament that followed. This feat belonged earlier to Fred Wadsworth of the US, who had achieved it at the 1986 at Southern Open. Since his famous victory at Wyndham in 2010, Arjun Atwal has been without another win for the last four and half years. The veteran Indian golfer broke that jinx on Sunday, December 21, 2014 at the inaugural Dubai Open Golf Tournament, where he beat South Korean teenager Wang Jeung-hun by just one stroke.
The 41-year-old Indian and former Asian tour No.1 was one of four overnight leaders in the final tournament of the 2014 Asian Tour season. Atwal began Sunday after reading a text message on his cell-phone from his close friend Tiger Woods, who had suggested that if he shot 68, you should be good. Whatever that meant, the day was full of high drama as Atwal bogeyed the 17th, when just one shot off Wang. At this point Atwal almost gave up hopes. But when the 19-year old Wang also bogeyed the 17th, the game came alive. The Korean teenager also began to feel the heat and he bogeyed again off the last. This allowed Atwal to go for the kill as he squeezed in his eighth birdie of the afternoon. And just that one shot was enough for the Indian to finish with a six-under-par 66 and emerge victorious. Atwal collected the first prize of US $90,000.
Atwal was ecstatic to win in Dubai after his last 2010 victory in the PGA Tour at Wyndham since he has gone through some really hard times in the last few years. He was thankful to his family and the two children, who watched him all through with great anticipation. Atwal also attributed the win to the moral support from his friend Tiger Woods. Atwal’s young Korean opponent had been playing flawless golf all season and before the proceedings on Sunday, he was brimming with confidence. But those two bogeys in the end went against him. He conceded that his inexperience and heightened expectations were reasons for his loss to Atwal. The Indian also conceded that luck favored him towards the closing stages and he rated his opponent as a highly gifted player with great future. The third place in the tournament went to Scotsman Simon Yates following a 68.
Other Indians in the fray were overnight leader Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar. These two had a tough day and shared the 11th place with two others. While Shiv carded a par score to reach 10-under 278, Bhullar managed one-under 71. Jeev Milkha Singh finished joint 31st with a four-under 68 which took his total to six-under 282.
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