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Rediff.com  » Sports » Atwal, Chopra tied-10th at USPGA Q-School

Atwal, Chopra tied-10th at USPGA Q-School

December 08, 2003 18:35 IST

Arjun Atwal continued his ascent atop the leaderboard with his fourth straight under-par card placing him at tied-tenth position after the penultimate round of the six-day Final Qualifying Stage of the US PGA Tour. 

Atwal, who shot a two-under 70 today, currently aggregates nine-under 351 for the tournament. The event is simultaneously being played at the Panther Lake GC and the Crooked Cat GC, Florida.

According to reports, Sweden's Indian born golf star Daniel Chopra is one of the many golfers tied at tenth position at 351. Chopra, placed sixth overnight, shot a one-over 73 today.

Meanwhile, Danny Ellis stole a march over overnight leader Mathias Gronberg to lead the field by one-stroke at 17-under 343. Gronberg along with Dan Olsen was tied for second place at 344.

The top-30 golfers in the Final Stage Qualifiers earn a direct entry into the US PGA Tour, while the remaining, earn full exemption or conditional entry into the Nationwide Tour.

Arjun Atwal, is all set to become the first ever Indian to qualify for the US PGA Tour. This comes in the wake of a number of outstanding performances by Indian golfers on the European, Japanese and Asian Tours.

Atwal will raise that benchmark further.

Today, the 31-year-old pro started off with a birdie on the tenth. A bogey on the 16th saw him make the turn at even-par. On his back-nine, birdies on the first, fifth and ninth, interspersed by a bogey on the eighth handed the twice European Tour winner a card of 70.

"My short game was really on the mark today," said Atwal. "I am very pleased with the way I came back from tied-100th place to where I am today. Yoga has helped me gain the mental strength that has helped me all week," he added.  "Right now I am focused on playing well tomorrow."

Chopra, also a tenth tee starter, dropped shots on the 12th, 13th, 16th and 18th, with a lone birdie on the 17th, placing him at three-over at the lemon break. Thereafter, he salvaged the situation with birdies on the first and third for a 73.

Ellis started of with birdies on the 11th, 14th and 15th on his front-nine and returned four more on the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth on his return journey with a lone bogey on the seventh marring an otherwise perfect card.

The leader shot a 66.

Scores (after 90 holes): 343_Danny Ellis(71,69,65,72,66); 344_Mathias Gronberg(67,69,67,71,70), Dan Olsen(74,68,66,69,67); 346_Michael Allen(71,71,65,70,69); 348_John Riegger(73,68,66,70,71); 349_David Brenshaw(69,70,67,73,70); 350_Roger Tambellini(72,72,68,71,67), John Maginnes(73,70,69,70,68), Wes Short(70,69,69,73,69); 351_Boyd Summerhays(73,72,67,72,67), Ken Duke(70,71,66,75,69), Kevin Na(70,67,70,74,70), Arjun Atwal(74,69,68,70,70), Olin Browne(69,70,69,72,71), Scott Hend(70,69,69,71,72), Daniel Chopra(67,71,65,75,73).

Asians outside top-10: T-41st: 357_Wook Soon Kang(71,71,69,77,69); T-102nd: Ahmad Bateman 366 (75,72,69,77,73); T-151st: Thongchai Jaidee 374 (74,73,74,81,72).