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August 19 2010

10:51 PM

Atwal takes two-stroke lead

We waited all day for a really low round, and Arjun Atwal finally produced late Thursday afternoon with a 61 that tied Carl Pettersson for the course record.

Atwal owns a two-stroke lead over Brandt Sendeker, who won the final Wyndham Championship played at Forest Oaks Country Club in 20007. Atwal is bidding to become the first Monday qualifier to win a PGA TOUR event since Fred Wadsworth at the 1986 Southern Open.

Tied for third after 64s are John Rollins, Kevin Streelman, Lucas Glover, Boo Weekley, David Toms and Jeev Milka Singh. Sedgfield Country Club was generous in the first round, playing to nearly a stroke-and-a-half under its par of 70 as players were allowed to lift, clean and place due to early rain and a threatening forecast.

“It was fun,’ Atwal said. “… I saw some of the scores from the morning and even though it was raining on those guys in the morning they were still taking it deep so I knew the golf course was playing pretty easy today.”

Atwal shot 67 in the Monday qualifier at Forest Oak – where he finished sixth in 2004 -- to gain entry in the field. In a weird way, that nothing-to-lose attitude in the qualifier may have helped him in the first round.

“You get used to making a lot of birdies in the Monday qualifier otherwise you won't make it,” Atwal said. “I kind of continued that today. … It was fun. Just continue playing well.”

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