Ace India golfer Arjun Atwal shot five-under 135 after rounds of 68 and 67, to be tied 4th at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament here.
Tiger Woods may not be playing in his own tournament but his best friend Atwal, who has a sponsor’s spot, is placed
well at the half way stage of the event.
A winner on the PGA Tour in 2010, Atwal has played only two events and missed cuts in both.
The top four players in the Quicken Loans National field, who aren’t already exempt, will qualify for the British Open
provided they finish inside the top-12.
The leader at the tricky TPC Potomac is David Lingmerth after two near-flawless rounds of 65 each and is now 10-under.
Atwal, who has been putting the sponsor’s spot to good use, said, “I’ve been talking to him (Tiger Woods) almost
every day, and obviously he’s one of my better best friends as I would say. He wants me to play well. I’m hoping I won’t let him down.”
Starting on the back nine, he had a hat-trick of birdies between 12th and 14th and a dropped shot on 18th. On the
second nine, he bogeyed first for back-to-back bogeys. But quickly recovered with back-to-back birdies on second and third and then parred the remaining holes.
Atwal’s two starts this season were Sanderson Farms Championship and FedEx St. Jude Classic. He made the latter
through a Monday qualifier. He missed cuts in both.
Friday’s round marked his best score on PGA TOUR since a 67 in the first round of the 2015 Wyndham Championship and it was also his first cut on PGA Tour since he made cut at last year’s Quicken Loans National.
Atwal remains the last player to Monday qualify and go on to win and that happened at the 2010 Wyndham Championship.
Atwal has of late played on Asian Tour and he won an event in Dubai in 2014.
Lingmerth knows that course as he won a Web.com Tour event here in 2012. He now leads by two shots over Geoff
Ogilvy (67-65). Ogilvy, the 2006 US Open champion, who was once ranked No. 3 in the world, now sits at 232.
Daniel Summerhays shot 68 and was alone in third, four shots back. Sung Kang, who shot 69 amid tougher conditions in the afternoon, was five shots back along with Arjun Atwal (67).