Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mahan captures first leg

PARAMUS, N.J.—About the only thing that went wrong for Hunter Mahan at The Barclays was when the trophy broke.
All he had to show for perhaps the biggest win of his career was a large wreath of roses.

“Am I supposed to put this on Kentucky Derby style?” he asked.
That would have been fitting. The closing stretch was exactly what he needed yesterday.
Mahan pulled away with three-straight birdies—sealing the victory with a 20-foot putt down the slope on the par-five 17th.
That allowed him a bogey from the trees on the final hole for a six-under 65 and a two-shot victory in the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
He already has two World Golf Championships. But considering the timing, The Barclays felt bigger.
Mahan had gone 48 tournaments and nearly 30 months since his last victory. The only player to never miss a FedEx Cup playoff event, he wanted to keep alive his streak of reaching the Tour Championship every year since this series began in 2007.
And he wanted to state his case for a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup team.
This performance will be hard for U.S. captain Tom Watson to ignore.
“To get a win in an event like this, and the timing that it was, it feels unbelievable,” Mahan said.
“This game is all about winning,” he added. “You can have a great year and if you don’t win, it just feels like you missed out on something.
“So to get a win, and do it in a tournament like this in this kind of fashion with a 65 on Sunday, feels great.”
Jason Day, who shared the 54-hole lead with Jim Furyk, closed with a 68 to share second place with Stuart Appleby (65) and Cameron Tringale (66).
Furyk now has failed to win the last eight times he has held at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
Tringale, who was No. 61 in the standings going into The Barclays, moved all the way up to No. 10 and is virtually certain of being in the Tour Championship.
That would put him in the majors next year—including his first trip to the Masters.
The top 100 players in the FedEx Cup standings advance to the second playoff event this week outside Boston.
Mahan moved to No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings—assured of being among the top five players at East Lake with the best shot at capturing the $10-million bonus.

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