By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. --
Arjun Atwal knows about his precarious position on the money list.
On Friday at The McGladrey Classic, Atwal did something about it.
Atwal, currently 175th in money, carded a 7-under 63 in the second
round at Sea Island Golf Club to take a one-shot lead at 10-under
130 over tournament host Davis Love III (66) and Jim Furyk (65).
"Yeah, I'm in a desperate situation," Atwal said. "I got no choice
to either win or finish in the top two, I think my caddie figured
out. So I've just got to grind it out." Atwal had eight birdies and
one bogey, hitting 14 greens in regulation. He needed only 25 putts
-- which included birdies from 17, 13 and 20 feet. And, yes, he
would likely need a top-five finish or higher to crack the top 125
on the money list to be exempt for 2013. "Oh, it feels great. I
don't even know how many (putts) I made," said Atwal, who recently
moved his hands higher in order to get over the golf ball better at
address. Love knocked his tee shot on the 192-yard 17th to 4 feet
and converted for a birdie, setting off a round of cheers from the
nearby "Dawg House" grandstands at Sea Island (A party palace of
sorts for University of Georgia Bulldogs fans). Love is using a new
putter this week, which is believed to be an old belly putter that
fellow pro Brian Bateman used to play with. Love, however, does not
anchor the putter to his stomach when he putts. "I've been messing
around with this putter for well over a year," Love said. "I just
haven't had the nerve to put it in play." Meanwhile, Furyk is
bouncing back yet again in his first tournament since the U.S. lost
the Ryder Cup. He's already had seven top 10s in 2012, but badly
wants a victory -- he hasn't won since 2010 -- after a year full of
close calls. "I have a lot of confidence in my ball striking right
now, but you know, when you don't play a lot, sometimes it's the
course management, making the good decisions," Furyk said. "And so
far that's all kind of coming back to me slowly and I've kind of
gained momentum as the last two rounds have gone on." First-round
co-leader and Jacksonville native Bud Cauley carded a 70 and was
tied for fourth place, two shots back at 8 under with David Toms
(67) and Gavin Coles (65). Cauley tied the course record and set a
personal best on the PGA TOUR with a 62 on Thursday. In Round 2,
his iron game wasn't as sharp. "Just kind of didn't have it today,"
Cauley said. "I would have loved to have shot under par, but even
is not too bad. So I'm going to go on the range and work on it and
hopefully play better on the weekend."