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Atwal's chances of holding tour card gets a boost

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 13:52 IST

Arjun Atwal made another determined and strong start at the Open as he continued his campaign to secure his card before running out of events on the US PGA Tour.

Atwal, lying 138th on the Money list and needing to squeeze into top-125, started with a fine five-under 67 on TPC Summerlin which was full of birdies. He was lying tied 15th, and three shots adrift of co-leaders, Bob Tway and Steve Flesch, who posted rounds of eight-under par.

Daniel Chopra opened with two-under 69 on TPC Canyons. The tournament is being played on two courses, the 7,019-yard par-71 TPC Canyons course and the 7,243-yard, par-72 TPC Summerlin. The players alternate between the two courses for the first two days, with the final two rounds at Summerlin.

Atwal opened on the first and had birdies on alternate holes starting from the third to the 13th. He added his sixth birdie on the 14th, but failed to get any more after that. His only dropped shot on front nine was the sixth and then came a late bogey on 17th.

Daniel Chopra, already sure of his card for 2007 with more than a million dollars in his bag was tied 67th after first round in which he had six birdies, two bogeys and one double bogey on the third.

Tway, lying 176th on money list, won the event in 1990. With eight birdies and no bogeys, Tway shot a 63 on the par-71 Canyons course while Flesch six birdies and an eagle in his 64 on par-72 TPC Summerlin.

Four players Bubba Dickerson, Rich Beem, Will MacKenzie and Patrick Sheehan were tied at seven-under, a shot back of the leaders.