By petedirenzo
Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mahan Down to the Wire?Hunter Mahan, a three-time winner on Tour, leads by one stroke over Martin Kaymer and Francesco Molinari heading into the weekend. According to the PGA Tour, this is the first time in Mahan's career that he's held the lead after 36 holes. Mahan also has a chance to win wire-to-wire for the first time in his young career.
The opportunities couldn't come at a better time. Mahan is still trying to erase any scar tissue left by his painful loss to Graeme McDowell in the Ryder Cup. And it didn't help last month when he lost to Kaymer in the third round at the Match Play by doing the exact same thing he did against McDowell -- duffing a chip shot.
Mahan looked shaky coming in on Friday with bogeys on Nos. 14 and 16, but a 1-under 71 was about on par with the rest of the field. One guy who didn't look shaky was Kaymer, who carded one of only three bogey-free rounds on Friday. Mahan and Kaymer will meet again in the final group on Saturday. Watney WatchWith Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson struggling to find their respective games, an interesting debate has surfaced: Who's the best American right now? The favorite is Matt Kuchar. Coming off a great 2010 season, Kuchar already has four top 10s in six starts.
But a guy who is flying under the radar is Nick Watney. The Butch Harmon pupil didn't win in 2010, but he recorded eight top 10s, highlighted by strong showings at the Masters (7th), British Open (T7) and the Tour Championship (T4). 
He has four top 10s in four starts this season, and after two rounds at Doral, Watney is only two shots off the lead. It's only his third start at Doral, but Watney's already had plenty of success on the Blue Monster. In his first appearance in 2009, Watney lost a memorable duel against Mickelson.
(Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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