Arjun Atwal shot a 67 in the final round of the Wyndham Championship for a total of 20-under-par to become the first Monday qualifier in 24 years to win a PGA Tour event. He’s also the first Indian-born player to ever win on tour. But he’s ineligible to compete in the FedEx Cup playoffs that begin this week with The Barclays because he’s not a tour member. He lost his card last month because he hadn’t played well enough when his medical exemption ran out.
Luckily on Sunday Arjun didn’t have the tremendous pressure of trying to improve his position in the FedEx Cup standings — just to win a tournament and make history.
“The only thing I remember about the whole week was like — as soon as Monday qualified, I told my caddy, we got nothing to lose this week,” said Arjun. “We just — just go out there and try and win it. Guys are going to be out there trying to secure their FedEx Cup spots or whatever.”
I’m sure he’ll take the exemption for the Fall Series and the next two years over playing in four events that are supposed to have more meaning than just tournaments with super large purses and some points system that no one understands.
So that’s fine, the playoffs are only for members, but doesn’t it make more sense to also include winners of events, including the major champions? Arjun says:
[The PGA Tour] should look at it, definitely look at it, you know. But, then, you know, it’s the same said for the European Tour when they have the Race to Dubai, if a guy wins on the European Tour do they get into the Race of Dubai automatically? I don’t know how this works. I don’t read all the laws or whatever.
They should definitely look at it. There’s no doubt. Like you said, there’s three other Major Champions that are not going to be playing in The Playoffs. Maybe they can tweak that for the Champions. I’m sure the sponsors might want the Major Champions to play.
So, what’s he going to do now?
When I don’t get in the FedEx Cup? I don’t know. I have no plans right now. I might — I’m definitely taking next week off. I might go to Thailand. My whole family and in-laws are going to celebrate [my father-in-law’s birthday]. So I might just do that.
I enjoyed the tiny jabs at the absurdity (and immense disappointment) that he doesn’t get to play in the FedEx Cup. That Arjun! — what a funny guy!
[AP Photo/Jerry Broome]