Myanmar Open: Arjun Atwal moves to tied 13th

The Indian is now four-under 138 and four shots behind the leaders in the USD 750,000 event.

Arjun Atwal is the only Indian to have tasted success on the PGA tour in the U.S.   -  Getty Images

Arjun Atwal turned in a fine three-under 68 to move up to tied-13th from overnight T-34th at the Myanmar Open here on Friday.

Atwal, the only Indian to have tasted success on the PGA Tour in the U.S., but now playing in Asia, is now four-under 138 and four shots behind the leaders, Paul Peterson (66) and Rattanon Wannsrichan (69) at the halfway stage. While Atwal led the Indians in the field, five others made the 36-hole cut in the USD 750,000 event co-sanctioned by Asian and Japan Tours.

Ajeetesh Sandhu (70-70) and Shiv Kapur (72-69) are Tied-37th; the latter improved from his first-round position of T-78.

Also making the cut were Gaganjeet Bhullar (70-72), Rashid Khan (71-71), Jyoti Randhawa (70-72) - all Tied-51st as 66 players made the cut which fell at even par 142.

Atwal, the Asian captain at the recently concluded EurAsia Cup, began in style with three birdies in first four holes, but back-to-back bogeys on sixth and seventh set him back. Two birdies on 12th and 14th ensured a good card and gave him a chance to make a charge over the weekend.

The Indians missing the cut included Khalin Joshi (71- 72), Jeev Milkha Singh (75-70), S. Chikkarangappa (69-79), Chiragh Kumar (76-75), and Rahil Gangjee, who retired after the first round.

Ishikawa misses cut

Peterson hauled himself back into contention with a five-under 66 while Rattanon’s excellent short game ensured he would share the day’s honour when he signed for a 69. Peterson, who lost his playing status in Europe, had an encouraging run with five top-10 finishes on the Asian Tour in the last quarter of 2017.

Rattanon was left to rue several costly mistakes because of his bad tee shots but had his putter to thank for keeping him in the lead at the Pun Hlaing Golf Club. Micah Lauren Shin of the United States continued his good form by returning with a 66 despite hitting four balls into the water hazards. The 2017 Asian Tour Rookie of the Year shared third place together with Korea’s Junwon Park and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura.

Star attraction Ryo Ishikawa of Japan missed the weekend cut which was set at even-par.