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Arjun Atwal creates history by winning the US PGA Tour title

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816   //    23 Aug 2010, 14:08 IST

Arjun Atwal became the first Indian golfer to win the US PGA Tour title when he won the Wyndham Championship yesterday. The Orlando based golfer also became the first qualifier in 24 years to win a PGA tour event. Atwal had a final-round 67 to win the Wyndham Championship by one shot from 12-time PGA Tour winner David Toms. Atwal shrugged off his indifferent form which saw him lost his PGA Tour Card, as he fell short of the requisite earnings on the money list.

The 37-year-old Atwal , from Kolkata, gained a place in the tournament through a qualifier round on Aug 16. The victory earns him $918,000, playing rights on the PGA Tour for the next two years and a place in next year’s Masters Tournament, the only major championship he hasn’t played. Earlier in a blemish free first round Atwal slotted nine birdies and created a tournament record by firing a nine under 61 to grab a two stroke lead.

Going into the final round Atwal was tied at the first place with Brandt Snedeker. In the final round Atwal made an 8-foot par putt on the last hole to hold off Toms by a single stroke.

Atwal was the second Indian golfer to earn membership of the European Tour after Jeev Milkha Singh and the first to win on a European Tour event. Atwal, who experienced victory on the European, Asian and Nationwide tours, has been through tough times during the past few years. Three years ago, a driver trying to race him down an Orlando street died in a crash. Atwal was cleared of any wrongdoing, although the year-long investigation took an emotional toll.

However in this championship Atwal made up, for all the controversies and now he is once again eligible to compete in the PGA Tour atleast for the next two years.