Arjun Atwal in shared lead at Pure Insurance on Champions Tour in US -
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Arjun Atwal in shared lead at Pure Insurance on Champions Tour in US

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Arjun Atwal.

Khel Today Bureau 

Monterey Peninsula, California: Arjun Atwal, a qualifier into the main event at the 2023 PURE Insurance Championship on the PGA Tour Champions, shared the first round with a bunch of eight others on the first day. They all shot 4-under 68 at Pebble Links. The tournament is played over two courses, the Pebble Beach and Spyglass.

This is the most number of players in shared lead this season and the others include Vijay Singh, YE Yang of Korea, Americans Jerry Kelly, Dicky Pride and Brian Gay, Richard Green of Australia, Steve Alker of New Zealand, Mike Weir of Canada and Americans Dicky Pride and Brian Gay.

Atwal, the lone Indian to have won on the main PGA Tour, posted a 4-under 68 in Tuesday’s open qualifier to earn a spot into the field. He carded 68 at Pebble Beach Links. Since turning 50 in March, Atwal has made four PGA TOUR Champions starts before this week, with a T11 at the Insperity Celebrity Classic his best finish. This marks his first 18-hole lead/co-lead on PGA TOUR Champions.

Atwal is hoping to wrap up his card for 2024 without going to the Qualifying School. Atwal, whose lone PGA Tour win also came when he made the main field after coming through the Monday qualifier, laughed and said, “Old habits die hard.”

Atwal also revealed, “I can’t go to Q-School this year because of family issues. My parents passed away last year. It’s my mom’s one-year death anniversary coming up and there’s no way I’m going (to the Q-School). So hopefully I can get everything done before, get in the Playoffs somehow if I play really well. That’s the plan.”

He added, “I hit it OK. Didn’t hit it all that great, but it’s Pebble and I know Pebble, so I’m glad that it’s one of those golf courses where I didn’t have to learn on this tour. You know, I know a lot of the breaks on these greens and it helped, I putted really well today.”

On his game coming into the week, he went on, “Nothing really. Just the qualifier, I started to hit it a little bit better and I started to find my lines again on the greens and that’s continuing, so I’m looking forward to it.”

About being on the Champions TOUR – he turned 50 in March – he said, “I came from the regular Tour after so many years and I just love it out here. I know, everybody does.”

“Hopefully I get in (a few more events) a few more. I’m going to try and — if I don’t get a spot at Furyk’s (another event), I’m going to try to Monday or Tuesday qualify for that as well.”

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