Arjun Atwal of India hits from a bunker on the...

Arjun Atwal of India hits from a bunker on the second green during the first round of the 2011 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga. (April 7, 2011) Credit: Getty

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The next time Arjun Atwal plays in the Masters, he will be prepared to play more like he did Friday than he did Thursday. He is more motivated than ever to make sure there will be a next time.

"Oh, I definitely want to come back, it's such a cool place. Everything about it makes it cool. We'll see, maybe next year," said Atwal, the former Long Islander from Clarke High School and Nassau Community College.

He left himself almost no chance to make the cut with his 80 on Thursday. Atwal played much better Friday, going 3 under par for the first four holes of the back nine, capped by a two-putt birdie on the par-5 13th. Even with a 6 on the par-4 18th, he finished with a 1-under-par 71.

"I was just more familiar with this place, I started to find my lines a little bit better on the greens and I didn't make any big numbers until the last hole, which didn't really matter anyway," he said. "I definitely got more comfortable on the greens today and I learned about the swirling winds as well. You've got to be patient. You can't just pull a club and hit it. You've got to actually figure the winds out before you hit shots here and I did a better job of that today."

Chip shots

Phil Mickelson shot par 72 and finished 36 holes at 2 under par, eight shots out of the lead and tied for 20th. "I left a lot of shots out there." . . . Geoff Ogilvy, having one of his best majors since his 2006 U.S. Open win, is 6 under . . . K.J. Choi will play with Tiger Woods Saturday, after having played all four rounds with Woods last year.

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