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Atwal is Order of Merit winner

December 14, 2003 20:18 IST

A lacklustre performance notwithstanding, Arjun Atwal annexed the Asian PGA Order of Merit title at the season-ending Volvo Masters of Asia golf tournament in Bangkok on Sunday to add yet another feather to his cap this year.

Atwal, who last week became the only Indian ever to qualify for the US PGA Tour, finished the lowest among the Indian in fray at the $500,000 event played at par-71 Bangkok Golf Club course at tied 57th and a three-day aggregate of four-over 288.

Atwal's only real threat to the Order of Merit title, China's Zhang Lian Wei finished tied 39th at 281, according to information received in New Delhi.

It is the second time in a row that an Indian took home the coveted title as Jyoti Randhawa had achieved the feat last season.

Randhawa may have not been able to defend his crown but he did outshine Atwal with his performance today -- a card of six-under 65 in the final round and a tournament tally of 15-under 269 which placed him third on the leaderboard.

He pocketed a cheque of US$ 30,000.

American Ted Purdy emerged the winner with a four-day score of 19-under 265 while Lin Keng Chi of Taipei finished second one stroke behind the leader.

Among the other Indians in fray, Chandigarh's Harmeet Kahlon fired a three-under 68 to finish tied for seventh position at 11-under 273. Amandeep Johl at tied-13th, finished two strokes behind Harmeet at nine-under 275. Arjun Singh with a 69 today, tallied two-over 286 for the tied-51st place.

India-born Swede Daniel Chopra, who also earned a US PGA Tour card last week at the PGA Tour Qualifiers, finished tied-32nd at five-under 279.

Randhawa, who broke par on each of the four days and never once moved out of the top-ten, reserved his best for the last day. His round of six-under 65, was a superb effort but not without incident.

The 31-year old carded birdies early on in his round, on the third and fourth. The fifth hole, however, witnessed him return his third double bogey of the tournament.

The remainder of Randhawa's round comprised of birdies on the sixth, seventh, eighth, 12th, 15th, 17th and 18th interspersed by a lone bogey on the 13th.

Kahlon had birdies on the fourth, eighth, 12th, 13th and 18th, while he dropped shots on the 11th and 17th for a 68. The India Cements sponsored Harmeet was richer by US$10,317, while his Chandigarh citymate Amandeep Johl pocketed US$ 6971. Arjun Singh took home US$ 2,200.

Atwal had a dream start with an eagle on the par-five opening hole. Birdies on the third and ninth placed him at four under on the tenth tee, but the Kolkata pro dropped his first and only shot of the day on that hole to finish with a card of 68 to earn US$ 1,825.

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