Sea Island, GA (Sports Network) - Arjun Atwal fired a 7-under 63 on Friday to
take the lead at the midway point of the McGladrey Classic at the Seaside
Atwal, whose only tour win came two years ago, is one stroke clear of two of
the main characters in the U.S. Ryder Cup loss three weeks ago, captain and
this week's tournament host Davis Love III (66) and Jim Furyk (65).
The man likely to replace Love as American Ryder Cup captain, David Toms, shot
a 3-under 67 and is tied for fourth place with first-round leader Bud Cauley
(70) and Gavin Coles (65). The trio finished 36 holes at 8-under 132.
Atwal flew out of the gate on Friday. He started his round on the 10th tee and
birdied that hole from close range. Atwal rolled in a 4-foot birdie putt at 11
and capped off his third birdie in a row with an 8-foot birdie at the 12th.
Atwal stumbled to a bogey at 14 when he missed the green and couldn't save par
from five feet. He got back to 3-under for the round with a 7-foot birdie putt
at the 17th.
On his second nine, Atwal once again played brilliantly at the beginning. He
rolled in a 16-footer for birdie at one and then poured in a 13-footer for
birdie at No. 2.
After a par at the third, Atwal sank a 20-foot birdie putt at four and made it
two in a row with a 5-footer at the fifth. He was 10-under for the
championship and parred his last four for the second-round lead.
"It was solid today," said Atwal. "Started with three in a row, and then yeah,
just kept going. I felt really calm out there, and putter is starting to work.
That was the missing link in the last few tournaments that I played."
Atwal needs a strong week.
At 175th on the money list, Atwal needs some big paychecks to earn his card
for next year. After this week, there is only one more official PGA Tour event
on the schedule.
"I'm in a desperate situation," acknowledged Atwal. "I got no choice to either
win or finish in the top two, I think my caddie figured out. So I just gotta
Love mixed six birdies and two bogeys on Friday and is playing well in a tough
position. Not only is he the tournament host, but Love is still stinging a bit
from the historic U.S. loss at Medinah.
"I wouldn't say I've gotten everything out of the way," said Love. "I've hit
the ball. But it's my home course and I kind of know my way around it, so
hopefully I can keep it going."
Furyk sadly played a huge part in the Ryder Cup loss. He was 1-up against
Sergio Garcia on the 17th tee and lost the final two holes to lose a critical
Furyk, who was one of Love's captain's picks, hasn't played much since the
"I didn't really know what to expect," admitted Furyk, who was bogey-free on
Friday. "I took a bunch of time off. I only played three rounds of golf in
those two weeks, and I played well when I did play, but I felt a little rusty
on the way in."
Michael Thompson (68), Brian Gay (68), D.J. Trahan (67), Chad Campbell (67),
Mathew Goggin (66) and Greg Owen (69) are knotted in seventh place at 7-under
NOTES: Defending champion Ben Crane made the cut on the number at 1-under
par...Major champions John Daly and Todd Hamilton missed the weekend...Last
week's Frys.com Open winner, Jonas Blixt, also finished at 1-under par.
The Sports Network