Indian golfer Arjun Atwal made the cut for the weekend action at the 3M Open with a couple of excellent par saves at the fag end of the second round for a four-under 67. Starting off superbly with four birdies on the front nine and adding a fifth on 13th, he made a fine recovery after a disappointing first day 73. Atwal is two-under 140 and Tied-51st.
The challenge came when he dropped a shot on 16th when he missed the green on the second shot and went into the rough. He missed a 13-footer for par. On the 17th, Atwal hit his tee shot into the green side bunker but came out very well though he still had a five-foot-nine for par. He holed.
Atwal needed a par on 18th to stay on in the tournament. He put his tee shot into the water. After taking a drop, he hit a beautiful shot over the water and onto the green, 35 feet from the pin, from where he two-putted safely for par.
While Atwal ensured action for the week, Indian-American Sahith Theegala (72-72) and Indo-Swede Daniel Chopra (72-75) missed the cut as 68 professionals made it at two-under. Defending champion Matthew Wolff (65-68) shot one of the six-bogey free rounds of the day as he seeks to record his first two TOUR wins at the same event.
While world No. 248th Werenski and 151-ranked Thompson led the field, some high profile names to have missed the cut included Brooks Koepka (70-71) and Tommy Fleetwood (71-72), who two weeks ago flew in from UK and spent time in quarantine. Atwal's front nine was flawless as he found all fairways and greens in regulation. He birdied four times, including a 20-footer on par-4 seventh.
He finally missed a fairway on 11th, but a good wedge from 94 feet gave him a 13-footer for par, which he holed. On 12th, Atwal went into the native area off the tee. From there, he went into left rough and then a bunker, but came out well for a 10-footer for par and sank it.
A 12-foot birdie on Par-3 13th saw him get to five-under for the day, before getting two good pars on 14 and 15. A bogey on 16th put him in some danger and on both 17 and 18, he survived with some gutsy shots. "It was not easy today. It was windy and tough in the afternoon. After last time in Detroit, I worked on my putter and I putted well today and that helped," said Atwal.
On the close shaves at the end, Atwal laughed and said, "I've lost all my hair after today's round. (Or) whatever little hair I had left. "With putting improving, let us see how things go over the weekend."
Also missing out was Paul Casey (72-72), Bubba Watson (67-74) and Dustin Johnson who withdrew after a back injury and a rough first round.