3M Open: Atwal stays in contention at seventh; Lahiri makes cut in PGA

Should Arjun Atwal win this week, he would become the second to do so after Monday qualifying since Corey Conners earlier this season at the Valero Texas Open.

Arjun Atwal hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation and another fine day on the greens leaving no misses on putts within 10 feet.   -  AFP

Arjun Atwal fired a bogey free three-under 68 to get to nine-under and tied-seventh to stay in the mix after the second round of the inaugural 3M Open on the PGA Tour.

Meanwhile, Bryson DeChambeau dominated the second round with nine birdies to achieve a career-low 62 and vault into the lead at 14-under-par score halfway in the first ever PGA TOUR event at the TPC Twin Cities.

DeChambeau was 14-under, Adam Hadwin was second at 12-under while Sam Saunders, Sam Burns, Brian Harman, and Scott Piercy were tied for third at 10-under.

Even as Atwal stayed in contention, Anirban Lahiri fought back from a modest 71 in the first round, which threatened to get worse in the second after two bogeys on second and third.

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Lahiri, however, managed to finish his day with a 67 and was tied for 55th at four-under.

Atwal hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation and another fine day on the greens leaving no misses on putts within 10 feet.

He birdied the 15th from 13 feet and then added another on the 596-yard par-5 18th hole when he reached the green in three and sank a 17-foot putt for birdie. His third birdie came on Par-4 381-yard seventh hole, where Atwal reached the green in two and holed a 29-foot putt for birdie. There were no bogeys.

At one stage Lahiri was two-over after three holes and looked set for an early exit. But he fought back with six birdies, three between the fourth and eighth and three more on the back against no bogeys for a four-under 67 that ensured he would be around for the weekend.

Lahiri hit 14 of 18 greens in regulation during his second round. One of Lahiri’s best putts came from 20 feet on the 411-yard par-4 16th hole, where he got his final birdie for a 67.

The cut fell at three-under and 85 players from a field of 156 professionals were inside that. With more than 78 players making the 36-hole cut, a 54-hole cut will reduce the field to low-70 and ties.

The 25-year-old DeChambeau hit greens in regulation on 17 of 18 holes. He sank four putts from 20-plus feet, including the No. 7 and No. 8 holes during a fine run.

Hadwin arrived in the clubhouse in second place at 12-under, after five birdies in a steely performance on the back nine.

Brooks Koepka had another quiet day, finishing at 3-under.

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The big name to miss the cut was Phil Mickelson, who has missed the cut in four of his last six events. After taking a triple bogey on his way to a 74 in the first round, Mickelson shot a 73 to finish 2-over.

Atwal came into the tournament after shooting a 9-under 62 in the Monday qualifier at Victory Links GC to earn a spot in this week’s field.

Should he win this week, he would become the second to do so after Monday qualifying since Corey Conners earlier this season at the Valero Texas Open.

Atwal’s only TOUR title, the 2010 Wyndham Championship, was also after Monday qualifying.

Atwal was last fully-exempt on TOUR in 2012 and he is seeking his first top-10 finish on TOUR since The RSM Classic in 2012 (T10). His last official victory came at the 2014 Dubai Open on the Asian Tour.