Valdosta: Arjun Atwal playing on the Web.Com Tour this year looked well placed to make his first cut of the season, as he opened with a one-under 71 in the first round of the South Georgia Classic.
Atwal had two birdies against one bogey in the round and was tied 41st.
Daniel Chopra (69) was tied 13th, while Bhavik Patel, an American of Indian origin, playing his rookie season on Web.Com Tour, carded five-under 67 to be tied second.
Rookie Ryan Spears fired a bogey-free, 6-under 66 and moved into the lead after the first round. Philip Pettitt Jr. was the first player off the first tee in the morning and wound up at 5-under 67, along with Troy Merritt and California rookie Bhavik Patel, who already has a top-10 in his first three starts.
Eight players are deadlocked at 4-under 68 at the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club, the longest on Tour.