DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — India’s Arjun Atwal won the Asian Tour’s season-ending Dubai Open on Sunday, rallying on the final hole to beat 19-year-old South Korean player Wang Jeung-hun by a stroke.
A shot behind entering the par-5 18th, Atwal closed with a birdie and Wang made a bogey.
The 41-year-old Atwal won for the first time since the PGA Tour’s 2010 Wyndham Championship. He finished with a 6-under 66 for a 16-under 272 total at The Els Club Dubai.
”This one feels really special,” Atwal said. ”I’ve gone through some really tough times the last few years with injuries and losing my card on the PGA Tour and all that stuff. It was at a point where I almost wanted to quit. Thanks to a few of my family and friends, I didn’t, and here we are.”
Atwal got some inspiration before the final round from his good friend Tiger Woods, according to Gulf News.
There’s very few friends in the world that will be there for you when you need them the most, and he’s one of them,” Atwal said. “And I’m there for him as well.
“Going through his two years of struggle, he’s always been nothing but positive. I’ve spent some time with him, and he’s always guided me on the right way I should go with my game or my health, and how to go about rehabbing.
“In fact he texted me this [Sunday] morning and told me: ‘Shoot two under a side; shoot 68 and you should be good,’ he was wrong,” joked Atwal, who needed to card 66 to beat South Korea’s Wang Jeung-hun by a stroke at 16 under par for the tournament. “He’s always encouraging me and we’re really close friends.”
Wang had a 67.
”I had a lot of pressure,” Wang said. ”I just tried my best. I don’t have any regret. I think I did my best. I just tried to play my game, but I cannot do that because of the pressure.”
Scotland’s Simon Yates was third at 13 under after a 68.