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Atwal cards 7-under to grab sole lead

St Simons Island (USA), October 20, 2012, PTI: 22:15 IST

Pushed into a do-or-die situation, Indian golfer Arjun Atwal carded his second best-ever round on the PGA Tour — a seven-under 63 — to grab the sole lead at the midway stage of the McGladrey Classic here.

Atwal, whose two-year exemption following the win at Wyndham Championship in 2010 runs out at the end of this year, is at 175 on the Money List. He is staring at the prospect of missing out the card for next year unless he wins or finishes in top-two this week.

Close on Atwal’s heels was the American Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love III. Atwal was at 10-under 130, and Love was one behind. After a three-under first round, he opened the second round at the Sea Island Golf Club with three straight birdies and took the outright lead with a wedge into five feet on the fifth hole, his 14th of the round.

“It feels great. I don’t even know how many (birdies) I made. I figured I’d count them up at the end of the round. I’m in a desperate situation. I got no choice to either win or finish in the top two I think my caddie figured out. So I just gotta grind out,” said Atwal.

Jeev makes cut

Jeev Milkha Singh continued his Japan sojourn after a week’s break and made the halfway cut with rounds of 72 and 73 at the Bridgestone Open in Chiba.

Jeev was lying in tied 48th place at three-over 145 in his fifth start this year in Japan.

Three players were tied for the lead at the halfway stage at the Sodegaura Country Club. Japan Tour’s number one player this year, Hiroyuki Fujita, Sushi Ishigaki and Yusaku Miyazato were tied at six-under.

Smriti tied second

Smriti Mehra was tied second after carding an even-par 72 in the second round which spilled onto the third day because of lightning at the Enjoy Jakarta Ladies Indonesia Open.

Smriti was in lead at the end of the first round with a card of 69. After the second round, she was one shot behind Malaysian amateur Kelly Tan (71-69) and shared the second place with Thai Kongkapan Patch-ara­tc­huta (71-70). There was a lot of cheer for India as rookie Vani Ka­poor (76-70) moved to 11th pl­ace and Neha Tripathi (75-73) was tied 21st. Saaniya Sharma (78-75) was 46th.

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