Silivis, Illinois: Indian golfer Arjun Atwal recovered on the back-nine to card an even-par 71 in the first round of the John Deere Classic but at tied 100th, he was in danger of missing yet another cut here.
Atwal, who has missed 11 cuts in his first 13 starts of the season, has had better luck since having made the cuts in his last five starts but his best of the year has been tied 19th at St Jude Classic, where he closed with a 66, his best round of the year.
Atwal birdied the second, but gave away shots on the sixth, eighth and 10th. He had two back-nine birdies on 12th and 18th for his 71.
Atwal, who has missed 11 cuts in his first 13 starts of the season, has had better luck since having made the cuts in his last five starts.
Troy Matteson sank 10 birdies on his way to a 10-under 61 to take the lead, while Steve Stricker, looking for a third straight John Deere title, was tied at third with 65.
Matteson had five birdies on either side of the turn and did not have any bogeys. He almost got to a 60 when he nearly holed out from a bunker on the ninth but then settled for par.
In the second place was Ricky Barnes (64) while Robert Garrigus was among the group tied at 65.
Rahil Gangjee tied 23rd after 1st round at Utah Championships. He had a stunning eagle-birdie finish for a round of three-under 68 in the first round of the Utah Championships on the Web.com tour, previously known as the Nationwide.
Gangjee, who had nine straight pars on the front nine, birdied the tenth but gave that shot back on the 11th. Then he eagled the par-5 17th and birdied the par-3 18th for a 68 that tied him at 23rd place at the Willow Creek Club.
Gangjee is currently 113th on the Web.com money list.
There was a three-way tie for the lead at the top as Morgan Hoffman, who come into the event because of his tied fourth place finish at the previous event, United Leasing, tied with Brad Fitsch and Doug LaBalle with rounds of 64 each.
Jason Allred (65) is a stroke behind with seven players tied for fifth two shots behind.