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RYDER CUP: As quickly as Nick Watney played himself into the conversation as a Ryder Cup pick by winning The Barclays, he took a step backward Friday. Of the eight players under serious consideration as a captain’s pick by Davis Love III, Watney was the only one who was over par with a 72.

Then again, Boston has never been his cup of tea.

Watney went five straight years at the TPC Boston without making a cut, and his best result was a tied for 33rd two years ago.

Rickie Fowler took double bogey on the opening hole, and then hit his second shot into the water on the par-5 second hole and made bogey. He rallied from there for a 71.

Dustin Johnson had the low round among potential picks with a 4-under 67.

The biggest day might have belonged to Hunter Mahan, who had missed the cut in his previous two tournaments, the PGA Championship and The Barclays. Mahan vowed to play with an edge, not to fret the Tuesday selections but rather embrace the idea that he has a good chance to be selected.

That worked, along with making a few putts.

“I definitely play with an edge,” he said. “And making a couple of putts felt good.”

Brandt Snedeker, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk and Bo Van Pelt each had a 69.


ON THE BUBBLE: The top 70 players in the FedEx Cup standings advance to the BMW Championship next week in Indiana. Former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel is at No. 69 and helped his cause by opening with a 68.

Jonas Blixt and David Hearn, who had to play well Sunday at Bethpage Black just to advance to the second stage, both opened with a 67 and were projected to make it to Crooked Stick, although there are three rounds left at the TPC Boston.


DIVOTS: Spencer Levin, who withdrew from The Barclays when his brother died, opened with an 80 and withdrew, meaning his FedEx Cup is over. The nature of his brother’s death was not disclosed. … Ian Poulter had a big day. He shot a 67 and said on Twitter, “This is my best ever round on a golf course I hate. Although I didn’t birdie any par 5 today. Need to if I’m going to contend this week.” Better yet, he left the TPC Boston in a Ferrari.