Anirban Lahiri, Arjun Atwal make cut at Corales Champs

Indian golfers Anirban Lahiri and Arjun Atwal produced contrasting performances in the second round before making the cut in the Corales Puntacana Championship here.

Lahiri got off to a solid start and was 3-under through 12 holes but dropped a lot of shots in the remainder to finish even par. However, he managed to make the cut on his debut in the Dominican Republic.

Atwal faced contrasting fortunes as he birdied two of his last three holes while playing the same group as Lahiri and squeezed inside the cut line of 3-under 141 as 71 professionals made it to the weekend.

Both Lahiri and Atwal were placed T-54.

However, Akshay Bhatia (69-73) and Daniel Chopra (75-80) missed the cut.

Hudson Swafford, who was stung by a hornet earlier in the day, was 5-under 67 and led the field with 12-under total, while Justin Suh (67-67), Luke List (69-65) and Sean O’Hair (67-67) were Tied-2nd at 10-under.

Lahiri, who had four birdies in the last six holes on the first day, started strongly on the 10th on the second day. He birdied 12th and 16th but dropped a shot on 18th to turn in one-under.

Birdies on first and third made it 3-under and took his total to 6-under at which point he was in Top-15. A bogey on Par-5 fourth, his 13th hole, was followed by another sixth and yet another on closing hole for a disappointing 72.

Atwal, whose 73 on the day placed him T-105th, birdied the 11th and 16th but dropped a shot on 13th and failed to take advantage of the Par-5s on 12th and 14th holes.

On the second nine, he was still outside the cut line despite a birdie on first. With three holes to go, he was 1-under but birdies on seventh and ninth pulled him up to ensure weekend action.

Atwal, who made three cuts in four starts in the ‘Return to Golf’ following the stoppage due to Covid-19, said, “I have not played since Wyndham, which was some six weeks ago. In this period I chilled with the family, wife and the kids.

“Maybe the front nine took off my rust in the first round. I think I had only one bogey in the last 27 holes. It is important to get some birdies out here, so I am going to attack over the weekend.”

Akshay Bhatia, who shot 69 on day one, added 73 on the second day and missed the cut.

Swafford, whose last win was the 2017 The American Express, takes a 2-shot lead and he will have Sean O’Hair in the final group. O’Hair missed an entire year with injury and returned just before the pandemic.

Swafford, whose caddie got stung by a hornet on day one, suffered a similar sting on a finger on the second.

Justin Suh, who turned pro alongside Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland and Matthew Wolff in 2019, was at Tied-second.