Arjun Atwal begins with two-under 69 at PGA

In only this third PGA Tour start this season, Atwal, who got a late entry into the John Deere Classic, was two-over for the front nine, before four birdies pulled him back to two-under at the TPC Deere Run.

Atwal had missed the cut at Sanderson Farms and Corales Puntacana, earlier, in the season. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

Indian golfer Arjun Atwal made a fine recovery on the back nine to bring home a card of two-under 69 and lie tied 56th after the first round of the John Deere Classic, here.

In only this third PGA Tour start this season, Atwal, who got a late entry into the John Deere Classic, was two-over for the front nine, before four birdies pulled him back to two-under at the TPC Deere Run, here.

He had missed the cut at Sanderson Farms and Corales Puntacana, earlier, in the season. His playing partner and friend, Daniel Chopra, shot one-over 72 with three birdies and four bogeys.

Steve Wheatcroft, who is way down in the FedExCup standings at beyond 200, was three-under through first 12 holes and then ran off six straight birdies to finish his opening-round at nine-under 62.

He was a shot clear of Michael Kim (63), while Nick Taylor and Johnson Wagner were among four players at 64 each as Joel Dahmen and Andres Romero also shot 64 in the tougher afternoon conditions. Early starters had a soft course, and almost no wind.

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In Jakarta

Khalin Joshi (68) and Udayan Mane (68) led a strong Indian campaign as they were at Tied-fourth at the end of the second round of the ongoing $500,000 Bank BRI Indonesia Open, here, on Friday.

The Bengaluru duo was two shots adrift of the co-leaders Thai Natipong Srithong (68-65) and Justin Harding (67-66) of South Africa, who were at 11-under. The Indians were at nine-under, while Australian Mathew Millar (66-68) was third at 10-under.

In addition to Joshi and Mane, the in-form Gaganjeet Bhullar was once again lurking around after a 67 following a first round 69. He was eight-under and tied-eighth, while old warhorse Jyoti Randhawa (69-69) was tied-13 at six-under.

Other Indians making the cut were Shiv Kapur (70-73) at Tied-47th, Honey Baisoya (71-73) and Himmat Rai (76-68) at even par and Tied-56th.

However, as eight Indians made it to the weekend round, four including Chiragh Kumar (71-74), Jeev Milkha Singh (71-78), S. Chikkarangappa (75-74) and Viraj Madappa (75-79) missed the cut.

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Mane, starting on the back nine, had five birdies against a bogey on his first nine, and then had two each of birdies and bogeys on his second nine, the front stretch of the Pondok Indah Golf Course.

Joshi, who has been knocking on the doors of his maiden Asian Tour win, was bogey-free with five birdies till his sole blemish of the day on par-three 17th.

Bhullar (67) was flawless with all his five birdies coming between the fifth and 12th, while Randhawa had five birdies against two bogeys in his 69.

The 32-year-old Harding, playing on a wildcard, shot six-under-par 66 to grab the clubhouse lead and he was later joined by Thai Natipong, who has four birdies on either side and his sole bogey was ninth.

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In Gullane

Shubhankar Sharma was fighting hard to make the cut as he had an even par for the second through 14 holes and two-under for the tournament at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open.

Playing for the first time in Scotland, Sharma was struggling to find his form with the putter and make the weekend rounds.

Sharma had two birdies and two bogeys on the second day. He birdied sixth and 14th and bogeyed fourth and eighth. After a 68 in the first round, he even through 15 holes in the second to be two-under for the tournament.

With low scoring on the first day with 96 sub-par scores and the Friday morning wave taking advantage of the perfect conditions, the cut looked set for three-under.

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So, Sharma would need to get a birdie of two in the remaining four holes, which includes the Par-five 16th, which he birdied on the first day.

Earlier, S.S.P. Chawrasia, who shot 71 in the first round, opened bogey-birdie-bogey and then, saw a series of 13 pars before finishing birdie-birdie. It was too little too late as he missed the cut.

There was English invasion of the leaderboard as four of them held the top four places. Robert Rock, six-under through 15 and bogey-free for the tournament, was 12-under and one clear of fellow Englishman Tyrell Hatton (65-64), while yet another Englishman Eddie Pepperell (67-63) was third.