Rich praise for Atwal on maiden PGA Tour triumph

Cricket icon Kapil Dev, sprint legend Milkha Singh and Sports Minister MS Gill on Monday led the chorus of appreciation for Arjun Atwal.

Updated: August 23, 2010 13:49 IST
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New Delhi :Cricket icon Kapil Dev, sprint legend Milkha Singh and Sports Minister MS Gill on Monday led the chorus of appreciation for Arjun Atwal, who scripted golfing history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a US PGA Tour title.

The Orlando-based Atwal lifted the Wyndham Championship Trophy in Greensboro, USA on Sunday. The victory at Sedgefield Country Club earned him his card on the PGA Tour for the remainder of this year and the next two years as well.

Kapil said Atwal has reaped the reward for his continuous hard work.

"This is a big victory for Indian sports. Arjun has been fighting for consistency. One big win at this level will boost his confidence and I hope the rest will come on a platter. He is not a small golfer. He required such a win and this will make him much better," he said.

Also congratulating Atwal for his feat was 'Flying Sikh' Milkha Singh, whose son Jeev finished tied 18th in the same tournament.

"Atwal's performance to win the US title is highly appreciable. He deserves applause from each and every citizen of India. His win has brought name and fame to India," Milkha told PTI in Chandigarh.

"His win is a proof that Indian golfers are as good with talent as any other European or US golfer," he said.

Gill also lavished praise on Atwal, who had been enduring injuries and poor form for more then a year and ended up losing his playing card last month.

"I am delighted that Arjun Atwal has this great victory on the PGA Tour. It is truly a remarkable achievement and puts Indian golfers on an even higher level internationally. I want to congratulate him," Gill said in a statement.

Professional Golf Tour of India Director Padamjit Sandhu said Atwal has been exemplary in his dedication to the sport and deserved the triumph.

"A very hearty congratulation to Arjun Atwal for his fantastic win at the Wyndham Championships. This win is clearly a defining moment for Indian professional golf and will go a long way in inspiring the current generation of professionals in the country.

"It has been Arjun's dedication and work ethic which has made this feat possible, of becoming the first Indian to win on the USPGA Tour. We wish him all the best, and look forward to hosting him soon at a PGTI event," Sandhu said.

Asian Tour's Executive Chairman Kyi Hla Han also hailed Atwal's title, saying that his feat will inspire more ground-breaking performances from India and across Asia.

"The Asian Tour played an instrumental role in shaping Atwal's career during his playing days here. Even though he's now based in Florida, his success will serve as an inspiration to many," said Han.

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