Arjun Atwal blows early advantage in rollercoaster third round at 3M Open

Atwal had a mixed day in Minnesota. His putting still remains a worry and he now needs a miracle on the final day for a top 10 finish.

By Rahul Venkat

Arjun Atwal experienced a topsy-turvy third round, scoring an even-par 71, to end up tied-62nd going into the final day at the PGA Tour’s 3M Open in Blaine, Minnesota on Saturday.

The Indian golfer, who found some form in the second round to make the cut, started from where he left off on Friday.

Starting on the 10th hole, Arjun Atwal scored the first of his three birdies on the day at the par-5 12th, rolling in a one-putt after chipping to two feet following a 300-yard drive.

Atwal followed it up with a 13-yard chipped birdie on the very next hole, the par-3 13th, and carded another chipped birdie on the 15th to put himself in prime position for moving up the order.

However, Arjun Atwal hit a bogey on the par-5 18th after ending up in the water and it seemingly affected his rhythm as he carded another bogey on the first, missing a five-foot putt for par.

A third bogey on the par-4 third wiped out the advantage he had built on the back nine. Arjun Atwal kept it clean for the rest of the round to card an even-par 71, and end up with a two-under 211 overall.

Getting three points on the second day, Arjun Atwal took his tally to +9 to sit eight places below his first-round position.

Thompson, Werenski stay even

Joint-leaders Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski continued their tight race for a win as both American golfers carded a three-under 68 for the round and 15-under overall to share the lead on yet another day.

Playing together for the round, Thompson surged ahead with consecutive birdies on the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, while Werenski hit a bogey on the par-4 fifth to concede the outright lead early on.

Thompson hit another birdie on the 12th but a bogey on the par-3 17th allowed Werenski an opening to hit back and the latter responded very well, carding three birdies in the final four holes to pull level with his compatriot.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old Matthew Wolff, who won his only PGA Tour title till date at the 3M Open last year, recovered well from two bogies in the first four holes to end with a 10-under 203 and sits tied-13th going into Sunday.