Senior PGA Championship: Modest start for Atwal as Harrington leads with 64
Frisco: Arjun Atwal, playing his first senior Major and only his second event on the Champions Tour, got off to a modest start at one-over 73 that gave him a good chance of making the weekend cut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship.
Atwal, the only Indian to have won on the PGA TOUR, was tied 54th, but Jeev Milkha Singh, playing his third Senior Major, had a rough day as he shot 4-over 76 and was tied-113th. He will need a solid second round to make the cut.
Ireland’s Padraig Harrington, a three-time Major winner, got off to a hot start with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot lead. The 51-year-old Irishman made the cut at Oak Hill at the PGA last week.
Atwal, who started on the back nine, birdied the 12th but gave that gain away on the 13th. A birdie on Par-5 18th saw him turn in one-under. His next holes were action packed as he did not have a single par. He birdied third, fourth and eighth and bogeyed first, second, fifth, sixth and seventh and closed with a par on ninth. At 1-over he is on the cut line.
Jeev birdied first and seventh and bogeyed third and fourth to turn in even par. On the back nine he had four bogeys and no birdies.
Chasing Harrington was Senior PGA debutant Japan’s Katsumasa Miyamoto, who shot 66 with seven birdies and one bogey and he was second.
Brazilian Adilson da Silva had a 67 on his Senior PGA debut as did Phillip Price at PGA Frisco’s Fields Ranch East course.
Stewart Cink, who turned 50 less than a week ago, carded 68 and was alongside Miguel Angel Jimenez, Robert Karlsson, Thomas Bjorn, Alex Cejka, Charlie Wi and Richard Green in Tied-fifth.
Steve Stricker, who won the season’s first PGA TOUR Champions major two weeks ago with his second consecutive Regions Tradition title, and defending champion Steven Alker shot 70. Justin Leonard, seeking his first PGA TOUR Champions title, shot 71.
Harrington was bogey free and had four birdies on either side of the course as he played with Rocco Mediate (69).
Harrington won four times in his PGA TOUR Champions debut season last year, including the U.S. Senior Open and the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He has four top 10s in five starts this season.
There were two aces. The first came from Dave McNabb (78) on the 161-yard eighth hole and Corey Pavin (71) had one at the 183-yard fourth.