Madison: Arjun Atwal boosted his chances of retaining a card for 2007 with a fine three-under 69 on the opening day of the $3 million Southern Farm Bureau Classic at the Annandale Golf Club on Thursday.
Atwal, who needs at least a couple of good top-10 finishes to secure his card in the remaining four events, had a roller-coaster round to finish four strokes behind leader D.J. Trahan. Atwal is tied for 11th with five others, the 50-year-old Fred Funk, Bo van Pelt, Robert Damron, Shigeki Maruyama and John Huston at 69 each.
The India ace has been struggling this year having missed more than 60 per cent of the cuts.
Interestingly, in a week when Southern Farm Bureau Classic is being played opposite the high-profile $7.5 million WGC event in Hertfordshire only two of the top 10 golfers after first round figure inside top-100 of the PGA Tour money list. (PTI)