Arjun Atwal had never even had a 54-hole lead on the PGA TOUR, much less won. Sunday, he had both, sealing his first career victory with a clutch up-and-down par on the final hole to win by one.
David Toms had put plenty of pressure on Atwal, finishing ahead of him and posting a 19-under total. In the end, though, Atwal’s 67 was just good enough.
Atwal won’t be in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup because his temporary TOUR membership from a minor medical extension expired after he failed to earn enough money by the RBC Canadian Open. Locking up a TOUR card for the next couple of years will more than make up for it, though.
“I have no words to describe it,” said Atwal, who has battled a serious shoulder injury the last year. “I really grinded it today. I was so nervous over that putt.”
Atwal had started the day with a three-shot lead but at one point seven guys shared the top spot on the leaderboard Sunday. Atwal, though, made just one bogey Sunday and two over his final two rounds. He was also in the top three in the field in driving and putting for the week, needing just 28 putts on Sunday. None felt better than the final one, obviously.
Atwal also became the first Monday qualifier to win on TOUR in 24 years. Fred Wadsworth was the last to do it at the 1986 Southern Open. Atwal is also the first Indian-born player ever to win on the TOUR.