Atwal ousts Hedblom in play-off to win Malaysian Open

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Kuala Lumpur, Mar 9 (UNI) India's Arjun Atwal carded a fabulous eight under par 64 to total 18 under 270 as he defeated defending champion Peter Hedblom in a playoff to win the 2 million dollar Maybank Malaysian Open here today while Jyoti Randhawa finished three strokes behind in tied sixth place.

Atwal, who won the tournament earlier in 2003, now becomes the only Indian to win three titles on the European Tour.

The Indian pro converted a four feet putt for par on the second play-off hole to finish on the leaderboard with a final round of eight under par 64.

Atwal and Hedblom went head-to-head in a playoff after the two completed 72 holes as the joint leaders with identical scores of eighteen under 270. The Indian backed up his previous scores of 70, 68 and 68 with a fabulous 64 today.

The Kolkata golfer's round was the best of the day. He rapidly climbed from overnight tied 11th as he started with birdies on the first and second.

Even though he dropped a bogey on the third, there was no stopping Atwal as he seemed to pick up birdies at will from there on.

He birdied the fourth, sixth, seventh, 10th, 11th, 15th and 18th to end up with a magnificent 64.

Hedblom (66, 68, 65, 71) who took on Atwal in the playoff, found the water on the first playoff hole (par five 18th).

However, the defending champion recovered to save par. Atwal also made a par on the first play-off hole.

The sudden death play-off then shifted to the par three 17th.

Hedblom bogeyed the 17th as a result of missing a short putt.

Atwal on held his nerve to make a four feet putt to take home the trophy.

''It was one of those days when everything went my way. This victory is really big for me and I am so happy that I cannot explain it in words,'' Atwal said after his win.

Jyoti Randhawa posted his fifth top 10 finish of 2008 and secured tied sixth position with an overall score of 15 under 273.

The reigning Indian Open champion carded scores of 67, 65, 70, 71 and was even par at the turn after he made birdies on the fourth and seventh and bogeys on the first and fifth.

He then put together a solid back nine with eight pars and a birdie on the 12th to round off his week with a 71.

Gaurav Ghei (67, 71, 72, 70) finished tied 37th at eight under 280. His effort of two under 70 included birdies on the second, fifth, seventh, 12th and 18th and bogeys on the first, 14th and 15th.

Emaar-MGF Indian Masters champion, SSP Chowrasia (66, 73, 69, 74) slumped from overnight tied 23rd to tied 46th place as a result of his final round 74 with an overall score of six under 282.

Atwal's previous two victories on the European Tour came at the 2002 Caltex Singapore Masters and the 2003 Carlsberg Malaysian Open.

UNI XC RAR AB RN1944

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