|Arjun Atwal begins the celebration after he became the first Monday qualifier to win on the PGA Tour in 24 years. (Gerry Broome/Associated Press)|
Atwal has winning quality
Monday qualifier takes Wyndham
Many players came to the Wyndham Championship for a push into the PGA Tour’s playoffs. Not Arjun Atwal. He was playing for his spot on tour.
Atwal won by a stroke yesterday at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., becoming the first Monday qualifier to win on the tour in 24 years.
After leading or sharing the lead after each of the first three rounds, Atwal shot a 3-under 67 in the final round. He finished at 20-under 260 and earned $918,000 — or, more than double the amount he had earned this year, the reason his future on tour had been in jeopardy.
“I told my caddie, ‘We’ve got nothing to lose this week. Just go out there and try and win it,’ ’’ Atwal said. “Guys are going to be out there trying to secure their
He’s the first Indian-born player to win on tour and the first to win both the qualifier and the tournament that follows since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open.
David Toms (64) was 19 under. John Mallinger and Michael Sim shot 62 to match John Rollins (65) and Justin Leonard (65) at 18 under.
For a few moments late in a low-scoring day, seven players shared the lead at 18 under.
Atwal, who carried a three-stroke lead into the final round, was at 19 under for most of the day but bogeyed the par-3 12th a few minutes before Lucas Glover bogeyed 14 and Toms, Rollins, and Leonard all birdied No. 16.
Atwal reclaimed the lead with a birdie on No. 14, Leonard birdied No. 17 and Toms birdied No. 18 to join them at 19 under. Leonard dropped back a stroke after running into trouble on 18, while Atwal still had three holes to play — giving him more than enough chances to settle things himself.
Atwal made his move on the par-3 16th, plopping his tee shot 6 feet from the flagstick and sinking his birdie putt to move to 20 under. He followed that with consecutive pars, sinking a 7-foot putt on No. 18 before dropping his putter and extending his arms upward in jubilation after closing out his first tour victory.
The Wyndham marked the last chance for players to pick up points for the playoffs that begin next week in New Jersey. Michael Letzig, who arrived at Sedgefield at No. 125 on the points list, finished 14 under move to 118th place, solidifying his spot in The
Others weren’t so fortunate. Mallinger started at No. 163 on the points list, but initially figured a final round that included six birdies and an eagle was good enough to propel him into next week. But when others joined him in a tie for third on the leaderboard, he slipped to 132d place in the standings and finished roughly 40 points out of the playoff picture.
Jeff Quinney, who arrived at No. 127, only moved up one spot on the list and finished about three points shy of making the postseason field with his 12 under.
LPGA — Ai Miyazato reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings, winning the
The Japanese star closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 11 under, two strokes in front of Cristie Kerr, ranked No. 1 going into the event, and Na Yeon Choi.
Kerr shot a 70, and Choi had a 71.
Miyazato, who led all three rounds, is among five players who have been jockeying for the No. 1 ranking, including Kerr, Jiyai Shin, Suzann Pettersen, and Yani Tseng.
“My goal at the start of this year was to become Player of the Year. So I’m aiming for that,’’ Miyazato said. “Everybody is so close at the top, so I don’t really know what is going to happen. But it’s a good motivator for me.
Kerr was steady — but missed a chance to pull even with Miyazato by misjudging a 12-foot birdie putt on No. 17. Her hopes ended with the shot into the water on the final hole.
Champions — Fred Funk won the Jeld-Wen Tradition for the second time in three years, closing with a 3-under 69 in Sunriver, Ore., for a one-stroke victory over Michael Allen and Chien Soon Lu in the fourth of the Champions Tour’s five majors.
Funk took the lead for good with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 598-yard, par-5 16th, then two-putted from 40 feet for par at 18 to finish at 12-under 276. Allen shot 67, and Lu had a 69.
Funk, who won the third Champions major of his career, began the round two strokes behind third-round leader Tom Lehman. Funk was in contention throughout the day, at one point making seven consecutive pars before his birdie at 16.
Bernard Langer, attempting to become the second player in Champions Tour history to win three consecutive majors, shot a 73 to tie for 10th at 8 under.