Arjun Atwal makes cut at Rocket Mortgage Classic golf

With a card of three-under 69 in Round 2, Atwal made good a sedate opening round to make the cut and set himself up for the final two rounds at the US PGA event in Detroit 

By Naveen Peter

Experienced Indian golfer Arjun Atwal showed great composure to climb 13 places to finish tied-55th on Friday and make the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, USA.

Having closed his opening round at two-under 70, the Indian golfer was in good form carding a 69 in the second to move up the leaderboard and aggregate five-under 139.

“I swung the club terribly these last two days so I’ll take five-under,” Arjun Atwal admitted. “Also I found something on the range after today’s round, so I should be good to go on the weekend.”

It was enough to take him to the final two rounds ahead of big name players like Vijay Singh, Bubba Watson and Jason Day.

Americans Webb Simpson and Chris Kirk share the lead with identical scores of 12-under par. In Round 2, the 47-year-old Atwal bogeyed on the first hole but birdies on the third and seventh gave him confidence.

An eagle on the par-four 12th was Atwal’s best as he finished one-under going out and two-under coming in for the day.

“I know I am leaving a lot of shots out there with missed putts from short distances, but I have also holed some long ones and the chip-in plus the hole out,” he told the Press Trust of India news agency.

“Maybe it evens out... I am looking forward to the weekend.”

Bryson DeChambeau of United States plays a shot during the second round of Rocket Mortgage Classic 

Change in regime

The past few months have seen Arjun Atwal, who’s had constant issues with his back and also suffered a rib injury in the recent past, change his fitness regime to suit his age and demands of the sport.

Speaking to the PGA Tour at the Detroit Golf Club, the Indian said that he had been inspired by the five-time Majors winner Phil Mickelson.

“Phil is showing that anybody in his 40s or 50s can do well and it gives us inspiration. It keeps me going that I think as long as I am healthy, I don’t see why I can’t compete. I’m in Detroit to compete and I’m going in with the mindset of trying to win a golf tournament,” he said.

“I want to get on a roll and get competitive. By the time I’m 50, I’ll also be ready to play on Champions. I want to win on that tour as well. I still have the desire to win as long as my body can perform. If those things are there, then I will play. As of right now, I’m feeling great.”

The third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic is scheduled to begin at 12:30 am IST (on Sunday).