Atwal stays in contention for the title, eyes unique treble in United States -

Atwal stays in contention for the title, eyes unique treble in United States

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Arjun Atwal.

Khel Today Bureau 

Monterrey, California: Arjun Atwal kept the big prize at the PURE Insurance Championship golf in his sights as he added a second straight 4-under 68 at Spyglass Hill to get to 8-under. He was lying third with one more round to go. He shot 68 at Pebble Beach Links a day earlier.

Ahead of Atwal were Justin Leonard (69-65) at 10-under and Thongchai Jaidee (70-65) at 9-under.

Atwal, who turned 50 this year, is the only Indian to have won on Korn Ferry and PGA TOUR and a win this week would make it a unique treble on all three Tours in the United States.

Atwal, who came in the main tournament as a Tuesday qualifier, had interestingly won his PGA TOUR title in 2010 also after getting into the event as a qualifier. “That will be so cool,” said Atwal, who plans to play a few more events to wrap up his playing rights for 2024. He is likely to miss the Q-School as he will be attending the rituals on the first death anniversary of his mother. “That is very important to me,” said Atwal.

Justin Leonard put himself in a position for a first PGA TOUR Champions win as he added a 7-under 65 at Spyglass Hill and reached 10-under for two rounds. Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee, a former colleague of Atwal on the Asian Tour, added 65 to his first round 70 to get to second place at 9-under.

Atwal was tied for third with Paul Stankowski (71-65).

The 36-hole cut saw 54 players at 2-over 146 make the grade and they advanced to the final round.

Atwal began the day with four pars and then went birdie-birdie-eagle to get 4-under for the first seven holes. He added birdies on the 11th and the 14th as he jostled for the lead. However, bogeys on the 16th and 18th pulled him down to third place.

Atwal is looking to become the first open qualifier to win on PGA TOUR Champions since Dicky Pride.

Leonard birdied four of his first and last eight holes to post a 7-under 65.

Stankowski tied the PGA TOUR Champions all-time record for most-consecutive birdies with eighth. Starting on the 10th, he birdied eight times from the 13th to the second in his 65 at Pebble Beach.

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