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August 22, 2010
GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
DOUG MILNE: Okay. We would like to welcome the 2010 Wyndham Championship Winner, Arjun Atwal. I know that's got to sound good and probably in your mind long overdue. Congratulations on the win. 3-under 67 today was good enough to get the job done. A great par save at the 72nd hole to clinch the deal. Just some initials thoughts on how you're feeling with your first PGA TOUR victory.
ARJUN ATWAL: I don't think it's sunk in yet, you know, seriously. Obviously was a long time dream of mine to win out here but, you know, until it happens, you know, you just keep doubting yourself and believe me, I had my doubts teeing it up today even with the lead, with a 3 shot lead or whatever it was.
You know, you always -- until you do it, you don't know and I'm just so glad that putt went in. I was really nervous over that putt. It was the most nervous I've ever been in my whole entire life.
But, yeah, it was -- my swing wasn't feeling all that great today. I was a little tight. Just grinded it out and got it done somehow. It's great.
DOUG MILNE: When you opened with your 9-under par 61 in Round 1, was that too early for you to start thinking about -- obviously you had three more rounds to go. Did you think that maybe this could be your week?
ARJUN ATWAL: No. You know, 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. We just -- just go out there and try and win it. Guys are going to be out there trying to secure their FedExCup spots or whatever.
We got nothing to do. I don't have a card or anything. Just go out and free wheel it. That's what I did, basically, this week.
DOUG MILNE: We'll open it up for some questions.
Q. Your caddy said after 15 you hit that second shot, you told him you were a little tight. Was that maybe the most tight you were? What did he kind of say to get you off the ledge?
ARJUN ATWAL: I don't know what he said. Did he say anything? We were too busy to see if our ball -- my ball had gone out of bounds. That was the worse shot I hit all week. I was trying to hit a little cut and somehow in the back of my behind I had Brandt Snedeker's shot from yesterday when he hit in the water. Just don't hit it in the water here. Anywhere left. Even if you blow it in the grandstands, it's fine, you get a drop.
I hooked the hell out of it. Luckily, it didn't go out of bounds and hit a great shot on 16, the par 3. That was big for me there.
Q. 15, was that the most worried about that it might slip away?
ARJUN ATWAL: Yeah. I didn't know whether it was in bounds or not. Yeah, definitely.
Q. How aware were you of like what was going on with the leaderboard? Thinks got fairly crazy.
ARJUN ATWAL: It just kept changing. Lucas was up there when I was playing the front-9. Then I thought I saw Justin Leonard's name up there, then David Toms, then somebody else. I'm like, everybody is tied for the lead at a certain point.
I figured -- my goal was to get it to 21 today, you know, because I knew guys were going to shoot low today. I came up one short but -- actually that's the number that my friend, Tiger Woods, told me to get to as well last night. I was really trying to get to that.
Q. Did you talk to him or was that a text?
ARJUN ATWAL: Text. It's all texts. We never talk.
Q. Why not?
ARJUN ATWAL: He's just busy, I guess.
Q. When you hit it over 18 and got the drop, being able to drop -- being able to place the ball, did that placement help that shot that you chipped on to the green?
ARJUN ATWAL: I thought it would but it was still like -- the bermuda grass, the ball still sits down just enough whether you don't know whether it's going to fly or spin. I had one of those off the downhill.
I definitely didn't want to get aggressive with that chip so I wanted to -- everything was sloping right to the hole. All I needed to do was drop it somewhere on the fringe and it would run out, you know.
I just didn't hit it hard enough. But, luckily Scott had that putt before me and saw what kind of line it was.
Q. You said it's the most nervous you had ever been on 18. Were you thinking just about the putt or did you allow yourself to think all that it meant?
ARJUN ATWAL: No, just the putt. My heart rate was probably like 150 at the time but my caddy told me that, you know, hey, listen, you made enough putts to win. I have. The last European Tour event that I won in Malaysia, I holed about a 20-footer on the last hole to get in a playoff.
I went back to that and couple other putts that I've made in my life and kind of calmed myself down before I hit it.
Q. Arjun, you talked a little bit earlier about watching PGA TOUR when were you kid, 2, 3 a.m. What time will they be watching this and how much will this mean to the growth of golf in India, do you think?
ARJUN ATWAL: I'm pretty sure it's going to be huge back home. I know my inlaws called my wife yesterday and said the coverage was just unreal with me leading.
What happened last night -- yesterday, they were watching it live and all of a sudden it went off over there in India. What they did, they Skyped on the computer and she put it on the TV here and then they could watch it. I don't know if they got to see it or not. I know there was a lot of people in India and Dubai that watched me play.
Q. You told us the other day that your plans for the fall were to try to Monday qualify for your tournaments or play Nationwide. How does this win change that?
Are you going to still try to do that for the rest of the year or are your Mondays free now?
ARJUN ATWAL: Are you serious? No. I don't need to Monday qualify anymore.
Q. What are you going to do now?
ARJUN ATWAL: For the next -- when I don't get in the FedExCup? 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 inlaws are going to celebrate whatever something. So I might just do that.
Q. Your championship.
ARJUN ATWAL: No. It's someone's birthday. My father-in-law's birthday. Sorry.
Q. After the bogey on 12, at any point did you feel like you were really losing grasp of a real chance to win or did you say anything to yourself or have your caddy say anything to you that sparked those two birdies there?
ARJUN ATWAL: No. I said to "Laddie" that we need to start hitting it more pin high. I kept hitting it, you know, short of the holes every hole. The ones that I get pin high leave it wide. I'm feeling pretty good with my putter. I need to get it pin high where I can get aggressive with the putt. 9 and 10, I had such long uphill putts there's no way to get it close to the hole.
So we started doing that a little bit better on the last few holes and, you know, made a couple of putts.
Q. What was your thought process on 18? Were you trying to get it up to the back?
ARJUN ATWAL: Yes, I was.
Q. For a free drop?
ARJUN ATWAL: Yes, because the lie that I had was on a downslope and it was a jumper but it was in such a severe downslope if I hit like -- the club was a 5-iron. It was a perfect club.
If it doesn't get up, it's going to catch one of the bunkers. Then I have a 30-yard bunker shot. Be impossible to get it up and down. I told "Laddie" we've got all the grandstands in the back. I'll take out my X, which is like a 3-iron. It's a rescue. Can get up off the downslope. Even if it goes scooting, it will hit one of the stands and be fine. That's what it did. Up and down from there wasn't that hard.
Q. And you got a good break when McCarron showed you the line, right?
ARJUN ATWAL: Yes. Very good. That was huge. I hadn't looked at it because he was ready to go. I had marked it. When he left his first putt short I was like oh, this is huge, you know.
Q. We talked about this on Thursday but now that it's a reality, do you really firmly believe that the PGA TOUR should look at making non-members, get them a spot in The Playoffs?
ARJUN ATWAL: You know, I don't know. They 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.
DOUG MILNE: Okay. All right. Arjun, last thing, if you wouldn't mind just running through your four birdies today and just give some clubs and yards and then we will cut you loose as a PGA TOUR Winner.
ARJUN ATWAL: My mind is a little scrambled right now. Let me try and remember.
3rd hole I cut a little 6-iron to about six feet, I think. Made that putt. On the 4th hole from a divot I hit a 7-iron, drew it to about eight feet from the hole.
On 12, I made bogey there. Do I have to do the bogies as well?
DOUG MILNE: You may as well. Only one.
ARJUN ATWAL: I was in between clubs. I basically shanked it right in the bunker and had this 30-yard bunker shot. Couldn't get up and down.
14 is probably one of the toughest holes. 14 and 18 are probably the toughest holes on this golf course.
14, I hit a decent tee shot. Hit a 7-iron to the back. Got it pin high finally. Made a great putt. No line on it. Just straight. Those are the toughest to make, I think.
On 16, I knew I had to make birdie from one of the last three holes, maybe two birdies, but hit a great little cut 8-iron to about, I don't know, I think it was seven feet under the hole. Knocked it in.
DOUG MILNE: All right. Arjun, congratulations.
ARJUN ATWAL: Thank you.
End of FastScripts