Bermuda Championship: He finished his round at Port Royal on Thursday at eight under par, one stroke behind the lead.
Since returning from India, Atwal had not played any golf until last Friday, and the 49-year-old was unsure of how he would fare over 18 holes.
As it stands, he is in the running thanks to perfect scoring conditions that allowed nearly 75% of the 132-man field to break 70.
Nobody was more shocked than Atwal, who won the Wyndham Championship in 2010 via a sponsor exemption for his lone PGA Tour triumph.
Prior to Atwal taking the first tee, Nicholas Lindheim withdrew due to a back ailment. Atwal then started the round with three straight birdies.
“I haven’t played golf very often. I went over there since I lost my father there approximately three months ago,” Atwal added.
I simply haven’t played golf, let alone gone for a walk. Last Friday, I used a golf cart to complete 18 holes at Isleworth, but that course is not comparable to this one. I’m therefore very happy that I completed the 18 holes and am not particularly exhausted.
“I accept it as it is right now. To nobody, I have nothing to prove. I’ve prevailed here. I’ve had success on the European and Asian tours, and I’m excited for the 50 Tour in March of the following year.
Smotherman placed 137th in the FedEx Cup as a rookie last year, but thanks to everyone switching to LIV Golf, he was able to keep his full card and climb up to the top 125.
He was preparing for strong winds, much like the ones he had last week in Dallas while visiting Trinity Forest as a member guest. He didn’t get anything like that during the morning calm when he shot his best PGA Tour score thanks to a round without a bogey.
Even if it wasn’t the best start, Endycott joined him at number 62. He made two bogeys to start. The Australian made up for it by finishing the round with seven birdies and two eagles.
Endycott predicted that there wouldn’t be many rounds played in the absence of wind.
Adam Schenk, whose wife said he missed his trip on Monday because he left his clubs at home, was one of the four players who joined Atwal at age 63.
Thomas Petry and Sean O’Hair are two of the 64-year-olds. Ireland’s Seamus Power, the golfer with the best ranking in Port Royal at No. 48, was among the group at position 65.
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