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Tour Report: Notes from inside the ropes

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Vijay Singh tries to cool off in 100-plus degree temperatures on Friday.

McDermott/Getty Images Vijay Singh tries to cool off in 100-plus degree temperatures on Friday.

By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

BETHESDA, Md. — It was dangerously hot on Friday. At 3 p.m. the temperature hit 100 degrees with a heat index of 109.

Chris Couch was feeling so bad paramedics came onto the course to take his blood pressure and check his heart rate. He finished his round but Kyle Reifers’ caddie did not. He left the course on the back nine due to heat exhaustion.

Equipment change: Hunter Mahan adjusted his driver a couple weeks ago and loves the changes. He took the head of his Ping G-20 driver and attached an Ozik Matrix shaft that has added loft. Still, he routinely hit it equal to his fellow competitors this week. That’s impressive when you consider he played with Davis Love III and Dustin Johnson.

This week Mahan has hit 22 of 28 fairways which led to a tournament-best 28 of 36 greens. Mahan leads the tournament because he has given himself so many birdie opportunities.

Distance: The combination of heat and humidity has led to players hitting the ball phenomenal distances. Robert Garrigus is averaging 328.3 yards per drive to lead the field. At the 481-yard par 4 18th hole, Garrigus hit a lob wedge for his second shot. He hit a 6-iron for his second shot into the 555-yard par-5 16th hole and a 271-yard 7-wood into the green at the 597-yard ninth hole. Garrigus’ length led to birdies on all of the par 5s.

Putting lesson: Tiger Woods got a little help from a friend this week. Notah Begay, his Stanford teammate and PGA TOUR player, looked at Woods’ putting stroke and suggested some changes. Woods did not elaborate on the exact technique but the extra practice led to 27 putts in the second round.

Fashion error: Nick Watney admits it was bad judgment on his part. He wasn’t talking about club selection but his choice of clothing on Friday. Watney wore dark blue pants with a dark blue shirt. The dark color combination just attracted more heat. Watney says he has white shirts and pants ready for the weekend.

Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio and inside the ropes this week at the AT&T National. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here.


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