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Atwal finishes fifth at New Orleans
May 02, 2005 11:36 IST
Arjun Atwal carded 73 in the last round to end up tied fifth, his second best finish of the season, at the USD 5.5 million Zurich Classic of New Orleans Golf tournament at the TPC of Louisiana.
The second top-five finish in about a month has put Arjun Atwal firmly back on road to ensuring a full PGA Tour card for 2006.
The 32-year-old, who led the tournament at the midway stage, returned 73 and 73 in the last two rounds even as Tim Petrovic, a former pizza delivery man, beat rookie James Driscoll in a play-off to win his maiden title worth USD 990,000, after both were tied at 13-under for four rounds.
With scoring not being easy, Daniel Chopra, putting extremely well on the last two days to rise to his first top-10 finish of the season, ending up tied ninth.
Chopra, with rounds of 71, 70, 68 and 71 finished at eight-under 280, just one stroke behind his practice partner Atwal.
Defending champion Vijay Singh tumbled down the ladder with rounds of 67, 71, 73 and 72 to finish five-under 283 in tied 21st place.
Atwal, who had just over USD 430,000 at the start of this tournament added another cheque of about USD 200,000 to cross USD 630,000 mark in just five starts. He will need about USD 750,000 to keep his card and his current form should see him race to that comfortably.
Atwal finished at one-over and aggregated 279 for a four-way tie with J J Henry, Woody Austin and Bo Van Pelt. Lucas Glover and Chris DiMarco tied for third, at 12-under.
The Indian, who was tied second at BellSouth Classic four weeks ago, played 26 holes on a long Sunday.
He was then placed at 10-under and finished the remainder of the round at even par with one birdie and one bogey. That still kept him the picture for the final round, which he played in second group.
In the final round, Atwal began with two bogeys on first and third and added a third on the sixth, as he looked to be slipping.
But a mid-round rally with birdies on the seventh, 10th and 11th saw him back at level for the day, before a bogey blotted his book again on par-4 15th.
Further up, Petrovic seemed to be in a state of shock as he went through the emotions of his maiden win.
Petrovic, who came to PGA Tour in 2002 and that was 14 years after he turned pro and in between gave up golf, completed his long journey to a Tour title by holing a 4-foot par putt to beat rookie Driscoll on the first hole of a play-off.
Driscoll had a 70, missing a 4-foot birdie try for the victory on No. 18.
The 38-year-old Petrovic said, "that last putt seemed to take about 12 minutes to fall in. I saw every dimple rolling over, and over, and over and then it went in."
Petrovic came into the playoff with a 19-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation, then grabbed the title with a routine par on the par-5 closing hole.