Monday

Arjun Atwal Win Adds to Golf Globalization Story


Early this year I wrote about the Avantha Masters, a € 1.5 million tournament, tri-sanctioned between the European Tour, the Asian Tour and the Professional Golf Tour of India. At that time many were pointing to it as evidence of the growing strength of the Asian Tour... and the increasing role India might play in it.

India has tended to go somewhat "under the radar" on the Global Golf scene, when you consider that it's produced more Asian Tour Order of Merit champions than any other country. Additionally, in a place where cricket is revered, golf is the fastest growing sport... despite its lingering reputation as an inaccessible sport for the utra-rich.

Arjun Atwal's win at the Wyndham Championship... the first on the U.S. PGA Tour by a player born in India... will undoubtedly add to the efforts underway there to promote golf at the grass root level. With golf now in the Olympics, many feel there will be a push to develop public courses and driving ranges. Those who use them will now have a national role model... who's won in the US.

Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, and Gaurav Ghei are other Indians who've have made names for themselves internationally... but none of them has won on the U.S. PGA Tour. It was bound to happen though, and with a clutch putt on the final hole, Arjun Atwal made that happen today.

August 21, 2010 - Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images North America