Atwal moves up nine spots to 12th at Hawaii

Updated: 09 January 2011 08:05 IST

Indian golfer Arjun Atwal put himself in contention for a strong finish by carding a five-under 68 to leap nine places to 12th after the third round of the Hyun

Atwal moves up nine spots to 12th at Hawaii

Indian golfer Arjun Atwal put himself in contention for a strong finish by carding a five-under 68 to leap nine places to 12th after the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

He is now 10-under 209 for three rounds at the par-73 Plantation Course.

Meanwhile, Robert Garrigus (69) recovered from an atrocious start of a double bogey-bogey by holing a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to join Steve Stricker (65) and Jonathan Byrd (67) in the lead.

Facing the notorious Kona wind at Kapalua, Atwal began with a bogey like many other leading players. But he made up with birdies on third and sixth, before giving up another bogey on seventh.

But from there, the Orlando-based golfer, who became the first Indian winner on the PGA Tour last year, hit a purple patch. He birdied the eighth and ninth and then after turn added a third in a row at the 10th.

Continuing his fine run with the putter, he added two more on 13th and 17th to close at five-under 68.

Atwal has been steady with his driving and irons and for the past two days he has also had a good time with the putter.

He is currently the second best putter this week.

Garrigus went into the hazard with a 4-iron to open with double bogey and had a bogey on the next. But he fought back well and by the end, he was back where he started in shared lead.

The eagle gave Garrigus a four-under 69 and gave him a chance to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2000 to win the season opener after winning the final event of the previous year.

Stricker had a run of five straight birdies that carried him to an 8-under 65, a score that looked tough in the wind.

Byrd, steady as usual, had a 67.

The three leaders, Robert Garrigus, Steve Stricker and Jonathan Byrd, all at 18-under 201, were three shots clear of Carl Pettersson, who had a 71.

No American has won the Tournament of Champions in the last eight years.

Matt Kuchar had the lead at one point by making seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch, but he played even-par over the final six holes for a 66 and was four shots off the lead.

Topics : Golf Arjun Atwal
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