Kapalua (Hawaii), Jan 8 (Agencies): Indian golfer Arjun Atwal rode on a brilliant front nine with five birdies to card a four-under 69 at the par-73 Plantation Course to move up by one position at the midway stage of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.

Robert Garrigus, the biggest hitter on the PGA Tour,  ironically holed his wedgeshot for an eagle on 16th and then birdied the next two holes with booming drives to take the lead.

He was 10-under 63 for the day and 14-under for 36 holes. He was one shot clear of Carl Patterson, who birdied the last hole for a 67.

Atwal, winner of the Wyndham Championships last year on the PGA Tour, had five birdies against no bogeys on the front nine. Four straight pars on the back nine were followed by his first dropped shot on the 14th but he quickly made up with a birdie on 15th. A final bogey on 18th saw him end the day at 69. Atwal is now tied 20th.

Jonathan Byrd also made birdie on the finishing hole of the Plantation Course for a 68 and was another shot back.

Garrigus, spent his honeymoon on Maui, and is now looking to a great weekend at the Champions-only event.

Ernie Els who set the tournament record at Kapalua in 2003, got back into the mix with a 9-under 64 and a total of 10-under 136.

Dustin Johnson (66), among seven players who had the lead at one point yesterday, ran off five straight birdies before trying to drive the 14th green, losing his ball into the native grass and taking double bogey. He was nine-under 137.