Atwal drops to tied 25th in Asia Pacific golf

Friday, October 29, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR - Arjun Atwal shot an even par 71 to drop from 16th to 25th at the end of the second round of the $6 million CIMB Asia Pacific Classic here Friday.

Atwal, winner of the Wyndham Championships on the PGA Tour, shot two birdies and two bogeys on the front stretch, and shot three of both on the back nine in his 71.

He is now three-under 139 for 36 holes.

Atwal was eight shots behind the rising Thai star Pariya Junhasavasdikul who shared the halfway lead with American Ben Crane. Pariya then insisted he was not distracted by a potential 1 million US dollar pay day.

Overnight leader Ricky Barnes and Ryan Moore, both from the United States, were a stroke back while world number eight Luke Donald of England and Australian Adam Scott climbed into contention with a 67 and 65 respectively.

Three-time Major winner Ernie Els of South Africa warned his rivals that he was capable of going low at the weekend after ending the second round in equal ninth place on 135following a 68 in the inaugural event.

While the round of the day belonged to Crane, Pariya, with his parents and coach seated in the large galleries, stole the show by shooting five birdies over the closing seven holes.

“I am not thinking about the money. I am just thinking about the lessons I can learn from the senior players. Hopefully, I can step up to the challenge and play like them,” said Pariya, who broke through for his first Asian Tour victory earlier this month at the Mercuries Taiwan Masters.

Adam Scott, who has won titles in China and Singapore previously, showed he was back to his best form after a month-long break in Australia.

After making two bogeys in his first four holes, the dashing Australian fired six birdies and an eagle from 25 feet on the 17th to move into the contention.

Donald, a member of the victorious European Ryder Cup team earlier this month, made six birdies against two bogeys despite not producing his best golf.

“I am still within good distance of the leader. I did not play really good and obviously I made a couple of mistakes. I was not quite sharp but had six birdies to offset my bogeys so it was still a solid round,” he said.

Els, chasing a third Tour title this season and fresh off his triumph at the Grand Slam of Golf in Bermuda last week, is counting on his putter to find the range in the weekend rounds to make a title charge.

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