Atwal is tied 16th, Barnes grabs lead

Atwal is tied 16th, Barnes grabs lead

Atwal, the first Indian to win on the PGA Tour with his victory at the Wyndham Championship in August, struggled with the effects of jet lag at the Mines Resort and Golf Club.

The Orlando-based golfer, who is the lone Indian in fray here, shot five birdies against two bogeys — both in the back nine — in the first ever co-sanctioned tournament by the Asian Tour and PGA Tour which has a purse of USD 6 million. “I’ve played well here before,” said Atwal, who triumphed in the Malaysian Open in 2003 and 2008.

“I always enjoy it in Malaysia. Today I didn’t enjoy as much. But it’s just the first round. My body is not reacting as it normally does because of the jet lag but I should be okay tomorrow.”

A former Asian Tour number one, the 37-year-old Atwal said the Wyndham triumph has given him the comfort to pick the tournaments he wants to compete in.

At the top of the leader-board, American Ricky Barnes grabbed the lead with a blemishfree eight-under 63.