Erratic Atwal tied 69th after Rd1 of Nationwide tourney

Updated: Aug 13, 2010, 11:42 AM IST

Springfield: Aiming to reclaim his PGA card, Indian golfer Arjun Atwal teed off in only his fourth Nationwide Tour event this year and opened with an erratic two-under 70 to lay tied 69th at the Price Cutter Charity Championship.

Atwal lost his PGA card after failing to earn the requisite money this season, forcing him to go back to the Nationwide Tour to reclaim his place in the elite group.

The Orlando-based Indian has to finish inside the top-25 of the Nationwide money list at the end of the season to win back the PGA card.

He can also get back a place in the PGA Tour by winning three Nationwide tournaments this year, which would entitle him to an immediate promotion for the remainder of the year and for the following year.

A 10th tee starter at the Highland Springs Country Club, Atwal sent down five birdies against three bogeys in a topsy-turvy round.

After sinking in back-to-back birdies on the 11th and 12th, Atwal was pulled back by a bogey on the 14th hole but he made amends with another birdie-brace on the 17th and 18th to make the turn three-under.

In the front-nine, Atwal managed to pick a stroke on the first hole but let it slip with bogeys on the seventh and eighth to round off a roller-coaster day.

At the top of the leader-board, Americans Brandt Jobe and Kyle Thompson shared the lead with identical card of 63.