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August 19 2010

10:19 PM

Atwal in lead after 61

Better late than never, even if this will be Arjun Atwal’s last PGA TOUR event until the Fall Series. That’s because his Major Medical Extension ran out after the RBC Canadian Open because he hadn’t earned enough money.

The irony, of course, is that Atwal is in the lead after an opening-round 61 Thursday at Sedgefield, where he’s alone in the lead after 9 birdies and no bogeys. So even if Atwal goes on to win the event, he can’t earn anymore FedExCup points for this season. A win, though, would secure his TOUR card for the next two years.

By the way, in order for Atwal to play in the Fall Series, he would either have to Monday qualify or get sponsors exemptions, unless he earns enough money to get in the top 150 from last year's money list and earn special temporary membership. Also, a top-10 here would get Atwal into the Viking Classic.

As for his round Thursday, Atwal had the putter working with just 24 putts. He was also sharp with his ball-striking, hitting better than 83 percent of his greens in regulation. -- Brian Wacker

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