Fueled by a hot flatstick, Hunter Mahan surged into contention Sunday afternoon. He made more than 130 feet on putts en route to an 8-under 62, which tied the course record set by Anthony Kim on Thursday.
Birdies on holes 1, 4 and 8 got Mahans round going, and he maintained the momentum by recording circles on three of his first four holes on the back nine. After a brief hiccup on 14, Mahan bounced back by hitting his approach shot to three feet on 15 and sinking the putt. Back-to-back 18-footers for birdie on 17 and 18 gave Mahan a share of the lead in the clubhouse.
The round could have been even better. Mahan failed to make birdie on either par 5, hitting a poor approach shot after laying up on 9 and a subpar lag putt from in front of the green on 16.
Statistically, few are having a better week than Mahan. He’s first in birdies and inside the top-10 in fairways hit (T-7), greens in regulation (T-3), putts per GIR (5), sand saves (T-6) and driving distance (3). Mahan is also one of the hottest golfers on Tour, with a tie for sixth at the U.S. Open and a tie for fourth at the Travelers Championship last week. In two trips to Congressional, he has placed inside the top 12 both times.