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Mahan has fast start with an eagle and 62

August 22, 2008|From the Associated Press

With two perfect shots, Hunter Mahan put a terrible week at the PGA Championship behind him at The Barclays.

Playing in calm morning conditions at demanding Ridgewood Country Club at Paramus, N.J., Mahan split the fairway with his opening drive, then watched his 98-yard sand wedge shot spin back into the hole for an eagle. Seventeen holes and eight birdies later, he signed for a nine-under-par 62, good for a four-stroke lead Thursday in the FedEx Cup playoff opener.

Two weeks ago in the PGA at Oakland Hills, the 26-year-old former Oklahoma State player shot 81-79 to miss the cut, and made news with critical remarks about the Ryder Cup in a Golf magazine interview.

"I wanted to get that out of my system and just play golf today -- and I did," Mahan said. "It was a pretty tough week, but you learn from your mistakes."

Trying to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team as one of Paul Azinger's four captain's picks, Mahan hit 11 of 14 fairways, 15 greens in regulation and needed only 23 putts.

England's Paul Casey shot a 66, and Bo Van Pelt, Kevin Streelman, Mathew Goggin, Charley Hoffman and afternoon starter Dudley Hart had 67s. Steve Stricker, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club, topped the group at 68.

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New Zealand's Danny Lee, 18, cruised past both of his opponents in U.S. Amateur match play at Pinehurst, N.C., and moved within three wins of supplanting Tiger Woods as the youngest champion in Amateur history.

Lee dominated Clemson freshman Jacob Burger, 5 and 4, in the second round, then defeated Wichita State's Connor McHenry, 7 and 6, in the round of 16.

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