Brooksville (Florida): Indian golfer Arjun Atwal moved within one round of making the final stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying School after he turned in a creditable four-under 68 in the third round of the second stage to be tied third. Atwal, who carded a 67 and 70 in the first two rounds is, now 11-under and lying tied third with one more round to go.
Anirban Lahiri at tied 25th and Daniel Chopra at tied 30th are also playing in the same qualifiers. An American of Indian origin, 22-year-old Bhavik Patel, a 2011 winner of California State Amateur title, was also in running to make the final stage.
Patel shot rounds of 69, 67 and 68 and was lying second behind Korea's Si Kim (70-61-67) at Bear Creek Golf Club in Murrieta, California, one of the six venues hosting the qualifiers, each of which will send about 18 to 20 qualifiers to the final stage. But for the two late bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes, Atwal would have shared the lead with 11-time European Tour winner Robert Karlsson (68-67-68) at 13-under.
Atwal birdied five of his first seven holes before dropping his first bogey on 11th, but he quickly birdied the 12th and 13th to move to six-under for the day. However, bogeys on 15th and 17th pushed him down to third. Lahiri (69-71-71), making his first appearance at the Q-School in the United States, slipped to tied 25th at five-under 211, but was within one shot of getting into top-19 or ties who move to the third and final stage.
Lahiri, even-par after 11 holes with two birdies and two bogeys, moved into top gear with three birdies in four holes between 12th and 15th at which stage he was inside top-15. Then bogeys on 17th and 18th cost him dearly and he dropped to 25th.
Two-time winner on PGA Tour, Daniel Chopra (72-71-69) was lying tied 30th at four-under 212. Chopra started with a birdie on second and then had a four-birdie streak from fourth to seventh, but he also dropped three birdies between ninth and 13th before picking birdies on 14th and 15th and closing with a bogey on 18th.
Some of the big names in the qualifiers here include two-time US Open champion, Lee Janzen, and two-time PGA Tour winner, Frank Lickliter. Lickliter was tied 25th at five-under and Janzen tied 39th at two-under.