Arjun Atwal in 3M Open race as Bryson DeChambeau takes charge

Bryson DeChambeau made nine birdies for a leaderboard churning 62. Arjun Atwal (68) and Anirban Lahiri (67) made it an exciting day for Indian golf fans

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Arjun Atwal - File Photo

06 July 2019: As the morning groups came back from their exertions at TPC Twin Cities, Bryson DeChambeau flew way in front of the rest on a brilliant 62 that included six birdies on his second nine. Meanwhile, India’s Arjun Atwal showed no signs of slowing down as he produced a fluent 68 to remain in fourth at 9-under through 36 holes. The scientist is leading by four over Scott Piercy and Sam Saunders at 14-under 133. Curtis Luck is also at nine-under in a tie for fourth with Atwal.

Bryson DeChambeau - 3M Open - PGA TOUR Image
Bryson DeChambeau – 3M Open – PGA TOUR Image

DeChambeau has been tiding through a dry patch recently, at least by his standards. But if his golf this week is any indication, he might be ready to put an end to it sooner than later. Bogey-free through 36 holes, the enigmatic American is four clear after a brilliant 62 on Friday. He shot three birdies on the front nine before roasting the course with a belligerent attack on the way to the clubhouse.

Anirban Lahiri made a dreadful start when he conceded bogeys on the second and third holes, and another dry weekend beckoned the embattled Indian golfer. The man from Bengaluru showed plenty of character though as he surged forcefully up the order firing six birdies, four of them on the home stretch, to secure his weekend in Minnesota.

Arjun Atwal hit 10 of 14 fairways and 13 of 18 greens in regulation, as he waltzed through the course without a single dent on his card.

“I’m a lot older,” Atwal told the Golf Channel. “Broken-down body. Haven’t really played golf since March. Been battling a mid-back injury for some reason the last two months, so I’m just glad to be playing a tournament, you know?”

His approach game has been on cue this week and the putter has been singing all the right tunes. He was 13 feet from the cup when he sailed a well directed 155 yard approach on the par-4 15th hole. He made that putt to collect his first birdie of the round, starting off the 10th tee.

The 18th hole measures 596 yards, a par-5. Arjun made the green in 3 before making no bones about a challenging 17-foot putt for birdie.

Things got even better at the par-4 seventh hole. Arjun made a sensational putt from 29 feet to move to three-under and he came home protecting that advantage.

“I didn’t expect anything this week,” Atwal added. “I figured if I play well and make the cut, it will be a good week for me. You know, looking at it, I’m hitting the ball really well. Starting Monday, when I shot that 62 over there at the Monday qualifier, it kind of gave me a little bit of confidence with what I’m doing, so hopefully I can just continue that.”