San Antonio (Texas): Arjun Atwal sparkled with a three-under 69 to lie tied seventh but Jeev Milkha Singh stared at the prospect of missing the cut after turning in a four-over 76 in the opening round of the Valero Texas Open here.

Atwal struck five birdies against a couple of bogeys to be just three shots off the pace.

Jeev, on the other hand, managed just a couple of birdies against four bogeys and a double bogey.

The Orlando-based Atwal started his day on a high as he found a birdie on the first hole itself. He gained two more strokes on the fifth and seventh hole but a bogey on the fourth meant that he made the turn two-under.

On his way back, Atwal picked up birdies on the 12th and 14th hole against a dropped shot on the 13th to round off a reasonably good day.

In contrast, Jeev was off to a miserable start as he stumbled to a double bogey on the very first hole.

A birdie on the second followed but dropped strokes on the fourth and seventh holes left him three-over at the end of the first nine holes.

Jeev's backward journey was no better and he managed one birdie against two bogeys on a forgettable day.

At the top, Australian Matt Jones led the pack by a stroke after returning a 66 in the opening round. American Paul Stankowski followed him in the second spot._ PTI.

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