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Golf Australia Express : Issue 13
It was the kind of moment that can make or break a player and in the end comes down to how the golfer deals with it. Mahan chose to get over it. And if we needed further proof of that fact, his clutch up-and- down on 18 to force the playoff at the TOUR Championship was it. This shades-wearing Californian native was cool under pressure, exorcising the demons of Celtic Manor with a 6-foot putt. It was a huge relief and validation of self-belief for the American, who’ll be heading Down Under in November as an important member of the US Presidents Cup team. Still in his 20s, it’ll be Mahan’s fifth time representing his country—his third Presidents Cup adding to two Ryder Cup appearances in 2010 and 2008. While he hasn’t had a win in 2011, the season has been his most consistent. Two runner-ups, nine top 10s and 13 top 25s from 22 events—not to mention his best year scoring average of 69.98— bodes well for Mahan heading to Royal Melbourne. It’s nice to see his got a sense of humour, too, making up the fourth member of the PGA boy band, Golf Boys. With three PGA titles under his belt—including the WGC- Bridgestone Invitational and Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2010—expect him to add to that collection in 2012. With a swing touted by many the best in golf, seven years of experience on the PGA Tour, a strong mental game founded on character-defining moments, and a top 20 ranking, this is one Hunter who’ll be out on the prowl for some time yet. OTG MAHAN BROKE DOWN AFTER THE 2010 RYDER CUP LOSS; THE 2011 TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP SHOWED US HE’S OVER IT (FAR RIGHT)