Open Golf: Mahan out to spoil Westwood party

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Brilliant three-under round rocketed the Ryder Cup star right into contention

American Hunter Mahan is perfectly poised to upset leader Lee Westwood after a superb 68 yesterday at Muirfield.

While the world was watching Tiger and Westwood, Mahan was adding the finishing touches to a three-under round that included birdies at the 1st, 2nd, 9th, 15th and 17th holes.

“I played really solid tee to green,” said Mahan. “Just two bogeys. But I hit a lot of good quality shots and the putter was obviously very strong.
I think once you start believing and actually trusting yourself, you can go out and do all kinds of stuff “I’m chipping and putting, I think, great and doing all the right things. So I feel comfortable with my game and excited about the opportunity and just have to go out there and trust it and let it happen.”

The American hopes that his experience at Merion – where he played in the final pairing with Phil Mickelson – will help him as he walks out with Westwood today.

“I enjoyed it playing at the U.S. Open. I enjoyed playing with Phil. I didn’t think that was a distraction or a hindrance or anything. You just kind of accept things and appreciate them.

“I think once you start believing and actually trusting yourself, you can go out and do all kinds of stuff.”

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