Calcutta: Calcutta’s Arjun Atwal fired the lowest round on the final day of the Celtic Manor Resort Wales Open golf meet in Newport Monday to record one of his best finishes in Europe, even as he surpassed the $ 1 million career prize money mark.
Atwal’s earnings now stand at $ 1,232,533. He has earned $ 952,398 on the Asian PGA Tour while, on the European Tour, he has accumulated $ 280,135.
According to information received here, Atwal carded a six-under-par 66 to tie for 21st place and finish the tournament seven under par. England’s Ian Poulter won the event by three strokes.
Atwal has won twice before on the European Tour but both titles have come in Asia. He has taken time to adjust to playing in Europe but last week’s result shows that he is starting to feel more comfortable in different conditions. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee missed the cut.
So far, Atwal’s earnings on the Asian PGA Tour alone total $ 952,398 in the period spanning 1995-2003 (till date). The break-up is as follows: 1995: $ 31,656; ’96: $ 20,946; ’97: $ 75,365; ’98: $49,365; ’99: $ 74,913; ’00: $ 1,63,049; ’01: $ 1,11,237; ’02: $ 2,07,624. Atwal has earned $ 2,18,243 till now on the 2003 Asian PGA Tour and leads the Order of Merit.
Atwal is way ahead of the next Indian on the Order of Merit, Amandeep Johl, whose earnings for 2003 stand at $ 62, 391. For his performance at the Wales Open, Atwal pocketed 22,925 euros.
Incidentally, Atwal is the only Indian in the Top 25 of the European Order of Merit for 2003.
On the Japan Golf Tour Organisation, several Asian PGA members played well in the Diamond Cup. Japan’s Daisuke Maruyama, winner of the Taiwan PGA Championship in 2000, finished equal third. He finished four strokes behind the winner, American Todd Hamilton.
Taiwan’s Yeh Wei-tze produced one of his best performances in Japan in claiming joint fifth position while China’s Zhang Lian-wei ended tied for 13th. Zhang is now in 10th place on the money list.
In the Memorial Tournament on the US PGA Tour, Korea’s Choi Kyung-ju put together four solid rounds and finished tied 13th.
He ended 11 strokes behind American Kenny Perry, who won for the second week in a row on the US PGA Tour.