3M Open: Werenski, Thompson tied for lead after second round in Minnesota

Americans Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski are at the top of the leaderboard heading into Saturday.

Richy Werenski carded a four-under-par 67 in the second round.   -  AP

Michael Thompson caught up with Richy Werenski in the second round of the 3M Open on Friday, with the two Americans sharing the top of the leaderboard heading into Saturday in Blaine, Minnesota.

The 28-year-old Werenski carded a four-under-par 67, as he continued to fight for his first-ever PGA Tour victory amid windy conditions at TPC Twin Cities.

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“Seems like there’s a lot of crosswinds out here, so you’ve got to kind of really do a good job of picking the shot you want to hit and I’ve done a good job of that this week,” Werenski said. “A lot of trouble left with the wind off the right. You’ve got to decide if you’re going to hit a draw or kind of hold it into the wind, so there’s a lot of that going on.”

FIRST ROUND REPORT

Thompson, who came back from the tour’s coronavirus hiatus to finish eighth at the RBC Heritage, shot 197 yards to the green on 17 before sinking a more-than 19-foot putt for birdie on the par 3. “The big thing is just try not to overpower the golf course, stay within myself, make good, comfortable swings, aggressive swings to good targets, be aggressive to pins when I can,” Thompson told reporters.

5-under-par 66 for Finau

Tony Finau, who finished eighth at the Memorial Tournament last week, holed out for an eagle on six, shooting a five-under-par 66 for the day, one stroke back from the leaders. “When you shoot two rounds in the 60, it doesn’t matter how the conditions are playing, you know you’re playing good golf,” said Finau. “And it’s been two really clean rounds for me. You can always build off that.”

Finau heads into Saturday tied with Talor Gooch, who put up a flawless round with six birdies.

Arjun Atwal makes the cut

India's Arjun Atwal made the cut for the weekend action 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.

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.”

 - PTI

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