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Atwal making steady progress

New Delhi: Arjun Atwal inched closer towards his cherished goal of earning a US PGA Tour card by hitting a two-under 70 on Day 4 of the six-day final qualifying stage. The Indian is presently tied for 12th with an aggregate of seven-under 281 in the event being simultaneously played at the Panther Lake GC and the Crooked Cat GC in Florida, according to information received here.

Mathias Gronberg jumped to sole lead at 14-under 274. He shot a 71 in the fourth round. Swede Daniel Chopra, overnight joint leader, shot a 75 to slip to sixth spot at ten-under 278.

The top 30 in the final stage qualifiers will earn a direct entry into the US PGA Tour, while the remaining will earn full exemption or conditional entry into the Nationwide Tour.

Atwal’s progress has been quite dramatic so far. The 31-year-old was tied for the 100th position on Thursday, subsequently progressed to tied 50th, tied 31st and is now to tied 12th.

With two rounds to go, all he has to do is hold his nerve and play percentage golf to ensure he earns the distinction of becoming the first Indian to qualify for the prestigious US PGA Tour.

A tenth tee starter, Atwal dropped a shot on his very second hole but recovered with a birdie on the 12th. A bogey on the 18th caused some concern, as he stood on the first tee at one-over.

But by the sixth hole, Atwal had recovered two strokes despite another bogey on the fifth, courtesy birdies on the second, third and sixth.

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