Sweltering heat no sweat for Mahan
A punishing golf course. Temperatures that topped 100. Hunter Mahan still managed to make Friday at Congressional feel like a breeze.
Mahan made seven birdies in the stifling heat for an efficient 6-under 65, giving him a 2-shot lead going into the weekend at the AT&T National as he goes after a PGA Tour-leading third win of the year in Bethesda, Md.
Chris Couch sought medical attention and struggled to finish in the oppressive conditions. One caddie had to stop after nine holes, and another vomited to the side of the 13th green from drinking too much water.
Tiger Woods remained five shots behind with a 68 in the morning, when it was still so hot that towels were used to wipe sweaty faces more than to clean clubs..
Mahan, though, has set himself apart for two days with a 7-under 135.
“I hit a lot of good shots,” said Mahan, who missed only two fairways and three greens. “I hit so many fairways and greens, I made it easy on myself.”
Robert Garrigus had his sixth straight under-par round at Congressional – that includes last year at the U.S. Open when he became a footnote in history as only the fourth American to break par all rounds of a U.S. Open – with a 67 and was two shots behind, along with Jimmy Walker and Brendon De Jonge, who each had a 69.
COUPLES TAKES LEAD
Defending champion Fred Couples of Seattle birdied the final three holes in sweltering conditions for a 7-under 63 and the second-round lead in the Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh.
Couples, the winner last year at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, N.Y., reached 11 under at Fox Chapel on a day when the temperature reached 96 degrees with a heat index of 105.
Joe Daley was a stroke back after a 64.
Veronica Felibert, a rookie from Venezuela, shot a career-best 6-under 65 on to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s NW Arkansas Championship in Rogers. … Frenchman Gregory Bourdy shot a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Irish Open in Portrush, Northern Ireland, while home favorite Rory McIlroy edged his way into contention with a 69.