Arjun Atwal failed to replicate his superb first round show, carding an even-par 71 to slip to tied-34th from overnight third on the second day of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship here.
The birdies did not come as they did on the first day as Atwal endured a disappointing outing. At a tournament, where low scoring has been the norm so far, Atwal had three birdies and as many bogeys, two of which came late on the back nine of the round. Ben Crane tied his career’s lowest round with a stunning 62 to take the second-round lead.
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Crane, a five-time PGA Tour winner, had nine birdies, an eagle, and two bogeys as he finished one ahead of Adam Schenk, Aaron Baddeley, Robby Shelton and Ben Griffin. Crane’s last win came in June 2014 when he won the FedEx St Jude Classic.
China’s Marty Zecheng Dou and Kevin Yu of Chinese Taipei charged into contention at the halfway stage. Dou and Yu fired rounds of six-under 65 and five-under 66, respectively, at the Port Royal Golf Club to sit two shots adrift of the 36-hole leader.
The two are looking to deliver a second win in a month for Asia following Tom Kim’s victory at the Shriners Children’s Open in Vegas.
Atwal, playing his first event since the loss of his father, who had encouraged him to take up golf, had a great 63 on the opening day. He had a bogey on the third, but birdies on sixth and seventh had him under par. He added a birdie on 11th but late bogeys on 15 and 16 brought him down to level par.
Dou continues to shine
Dou, 25, a three-time Korn Ferry Tour winner, showed great determination as he mixed seven birdies with one bogey to register a successive six-under card and climbed nine rungs to tied-seventh on 12-under 130.
Rookie Yu, who was playing in the same group as Dou, was equally impressive with six birdies, including two over his last three holes. The 24-year-old Yu earned his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour last season.
C. T. Pan, the 2019 RBC Heritage champion, moved up to T24 following a 67 while 2014 Zurich Classic of New Orleans winner, South Korean Seung-Yul Noh carded 67 for T41 alongside countrymen Byeong Hun An, who carded a 70.