Atwal's poor opening round of one-over 71 at the TPC River Highlands threatened his prospect of weekend action but the US-based Indian came up with a vastly improved show to finish among the top 60 plus tied.
Playing his back nine first, Atwal birdied the 10th hole but the 13th hole double bogey left him one-over after four holes.
The strapping golfer then reeled off back-to-back birdies to go under-par again at the turn.
In his front nine, Atwal did drop another shot but nailed three birdies as well to squeeze himself just inside the cut-line set at 138.
After sensational rounds of 64 and 62, Englishman Justin Rose leads the chart at 14-under 126, with American Kevin Sutherland, having carded second successive round of 65, four strokes adrift.