Newsmakers: August 2019

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Atwal matches the course record

Arjun Atwal

Arjun Atwal shot a stunning 9-under 62 to win the Monday qualifier and join fellow Indian Anirban Lahiri at the inaugural 3M Open (July 4-7) at Twin Cities TPC. 46-year-old Atwal is the first Indian golfer in history to win on the PGA TOUR.

The last time Atwal won a Monday qualifier was in 2010 when he went on to win the Wyndham Championship. In the qualifiers, he sank a 60-foot eagle putt on his seventh hole, and during a six-hole stretch, he played in seven-under. Atwal’s last top-10 on TOUR came in October 2012.

Atwal said, “The mentally tough part is you know the entire field is going to be firing at pins all day. You don’t have three days to make it up if you miss a few birdies. Not in a
Monday qualifier.”

After making a statement in the qualifier, Atwal shot rounds of 65, 68, 68, and 70 to finish
T-23 with a total score of 13-under 271 after remaining inside the top five on the leaderboard for the first time since he stood T-4 through 36 holes of the 2017 Quicken Loans National.

Atwal has made $18,066 in his last two years combined on the PGA Tour and hasn’t had the status to play more than eight events in any season since he lost his card in 2012. His performance at the 3M Open earned him an exemption for the John Deere Classic the following week, where he missed the cut with rounds of 69 and 72.

Shiv Kapur’s lost clubs

Shiv Kapur seemed determined to enter the qualifier for the Open with his golf bag in tow but alas, that was not to be. For the second time in three weeks, his bag did not arrive on time, forcing the Indian to rely on hired clubs for practice ahead of the final qualifiers.

In June, when he got a spot to play at the BMW Open International in Munich, the airline failed to transport his bags along with him, and they arrived just the day before the first round.

This time, Kapur reached Edinburgh for the 36-hole qualifier to secure a spot at the 148 The Open Championship, the final major of the year.

Without his bag, Kapur tried his luck with hired clubs consisting of a mix – Callaway irons, Ping 3 Wood, and Titleist wedges but decided to forfeit the qualifier set at Fairmont St. Andrews in Scotland.

He has previously qualified thrice for the prestigious major and finished T-73 in 2013 at Muirfield, where he started his campaign with six birdies in the starting seven holes.

Wolff’s speedy surge

Matthew Wolff

The latest sensation in international golf, 20-year-old American Matthew Wolff has stormed up the OWGR rankings with his win at the inaugural $6.4 million 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities. Wolff’s phenomenal display of 69, 67, 62, 65 and an eagle on the 18th beat fellow contenders — 5-time winner on the TOUR Bryson DeChambeau and rookie Collin Morikawa.
Playing only his fourth professional event, Wolff collected a hefty cheque of $1,152,000 and 44 OWGR points to become World No. 135, a jump of over 1524 ranks from 1659.

With the victory, Wolff is exempt on the PGA Tour through the 2021 season.

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