Arjun Atwal ends with a hat-trick of birdies, placing 3 behind the leader in the ninth tied

BLAINE: from India Arjun Atwal he maintained the momentum despite a double bogey in the last nine, as he closed with a brilliant hat-trick of birdies that kept him in contention at the inaugural 3M Open Golf tournament here

Atwal launched his second consecutive 68 and now has 12 low and tied for ninth, three shots from the lead when the crowded leaderboard promises an exciting finish.

Atwal, who was fourth after the first round and sixth after the second, is now ninth after the third.

But as against a six-shot deficit against the 36-hole leader, he is now only three behind the new leaders, a young pair of Matthew Wolff (62) and Collin Morikawa (64), who played Golf against each other in high school, and Bryson DeChambeau (70).

Wolff and Morikawa grew to less than 30 minutes in California and are in their first month as professionals. Wolff fired 62 and moved into contention. All are at 15 low.

Meanwhile India's other Golf er, Anirban Lahiri (75) failed the 54-hole cut since it was tied 83a.

With more than 80 players making the cut of the second round, a cut of the third round was applied and Lahiri failed.

Atwal, 46, and playing only his fourth event in the current season and made just one cut, hit 16 of 18 regular greens during his third round.

Atwal had a clean double in his nine strikers and four pars in the second nine before hitting his tee shot into Par-4 14 and came out with a double.

But he defended himself magnificently in the end. He birdied from nine feet on 16 and then made a 31-foot birdie hole on the 17th. On the 18th, he had a brilliant first 90-foot putt for a one-foot birdie that ended in 68.

That was a satisfactory ending and I'm not thinking about scores or finals. I'm just focusing on every shot, said Atwal, whose last top 10 at PGA came in 2012 and his last international victory was in Dubai in 2014 at the Asian tour .

Lahiri had a very colorful marker with four birdies, three bogeys, one double and one triple for a 75 that saw him come out after three rounds.

Adam Hadwin and Wyndham Clark is tied for fourth with 14 under par, and Hideki Matsuyama, Charles Howell III and Troy Merritt are tied for sixth with 13 under par.

Looking for his first victory in the tour in 31 starts in the TOUR, Clark fired a 64 and tied with Hadwin (69) a shot back. Clark played with Atwal in the first two rounds.