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Graeme McDowell

Mahan begins long road in the playoffs, with history on side

Recent history is what gives Hunter Mahan a level of optimism he would not ordinarily have at The Barclays. For the first time in 10 years, he is at risk of ending a PGA Tour season without once finishing in the top three. For the first time in more than six years, Mahan is out of the top 50 in the world ranking. He starts the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 71, his lowest position since this series began in 2007. Mahan is the only player to have never missed a playoff event. That streak is in jeopardy. He also knows how quickly it can turn around. "Takes one good week to propel you up the board," Mahan said. "And you can change the schematic of the whole thing." A year...