Arjun Atwal missed a couple of short putts but still managed to shoot two-under 69, giving himself a chance to get into the weekend action at the John Deere Classic, here. Atwal, who finished T-23 after coming through a Monday qualifier last week, is Tied-56th, but his colleague Anirban Lahiri continued to struggle.
Lahiri shot three-over with three bogey, two of them on Par-5s, and no birdies in his three-over 74. With the cut likely at two-under, Lahiri needs a low second round. Daniel Chopra shot one-under 70. Winless on PGA Tour, Mexican Roberto Diaz, 32, playing in the final group from first tee, shot a 9-under 62 to take the first-round lead. He birdied four of the first five holes, eagled the par-5 10th and birdied three of the last five for a bogey-free 62.
Americans Adam Long and Russell Henley were two strokes back. Martin Laird was another stroke back at 65 with Ryan Palmer, Andrew Landry, Vaughn Taylor, Zack Sucher and Ryan Blaum. Long had eight birdies with four on either side. Lahiri managed only half of the greens in regulation and missed some putts inside 10 feet. He also did not get close enough to have chances on some others. He had bogeys on sixth, 10th and 17th.
Atwal started on the tenth and had an eventful first nine. After missing a 12-footer for birdie on first, he birdied second with a nice second shot to inside seven feet. On the 13th, he bogeyed after missing the green and then missed 4-footer for par on 13th. On the Par-5 15th, he went from left greenside bunker to right front greenside bunker and missed an up-and-down for a double at which stage he was two-over after six. However, he rallied with three birdies in a row and turned in one-under.
On the second nine, a nice chip on first from 36 feet to 3 feet set up a birdie and he followed that up with an excellent second shot to four feet on fifth for another birdie. He missed an eight-footer for birdie on 8th and dropped a shot on ninth going from left rough to right rough. Chopra had four birdies, one double on 10th and two bogeys and he was T-78th.
The 23-year-old rookie Matthew Wolff, who picked up his first career win at the 3M Open last week, opened with a 67.
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