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updated: 1/31/2011 5:40 PM

Unheraled Atwal wins Wyndham

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  • Arjun Atwal holds the Sam Snead Cup on the 18th green after winning the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday.

      Arjun Atwal holds the Sam Snead Cup on the 18th green after winning the Wyndham Championship golf tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Sunday.
    Associated Press

 

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 Sunday 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 previously 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 FedEx Cup spots or whatever. We've got nothing. I don't have a card. I don't have anything. Just go out there and free-wheel it, and that's what I did this week."

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 62s to match John Rollins (65) and Justin Leonard (65) at 18 under.

For a few dizzying moments late in a low-scoring day, seven players shared the lead at 18 under.

Atwal, who carried a 3-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.

"It just kept changing," Atwal said. "Everybody's tied for the lead at a certain point."

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.

Wheaton's Kevin Streelman closed with a 67 to finish at 14 under. He took home $55,947.

Champions Tour: Fred Funk won the Jeld-Wen Tradition in Sunriver, Ore., for the second time in three years, closing with a 3-under 69 for a 1-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 2-putted from 40 feet for par at 18 to finish at 12-under 276.

Allen shot a 67, and Lu had a 69.

LPGA Tour: Ai Miyazato reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings, winning the LPGA Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore., for her fifth victory of the year. The Japanese star closed with an even-par 72 to finish at 11 under, 2 strokes in front of Cristie Kerr, ranked No. 1 going into the event, and Na Yeon Choi.

European Tour: Peter Hanson won the Czech Open in Celadna, Czech Republic, after a three-way playoff with Gary Boyd and Peter Lawrie, keeping his Ryder Cup hopes alive. The Swede won the European Tour event with an 18-foot birdie on the second extra hole - the par-4 18th.

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