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Saturday, April 17, 2010

An makes first PGA Tour cut

Byeong-Hun (Ben) An made his first PGA Tour cut Friday in the Verizon Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island.

An followed his opening round of 69 with a 1-under par, 70 to finish in a tie for 33rd.

But it could have been much better for the Bradenton Prep senior.

An, the reigning United States Amateur champion, got as close as one shot off the lead, when he birdied the par-4 sixth.

That put An, who started his second round on the back nine, at 6-under par for the tournament, one off the pace.

However, An faltered in his final three holes, playing them in three-over.

An bogeyed No. 7 before a double on the ninth.

Despite the setback, An will play the weekend for the first time, since earning PGA Tour exemptions based off the U.S. Amateur victory.

He did it with steady putting, which plagued An in both previous Tour events - the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Masters.

An had 26 putts in round one, and backed that up with 29 putts in round two, which ranked him tied for 43rd through the first 36 holes.

However, those were still markedly improved numbers with the flatstick then his first ventures on the Tour.

An had an eagle and four birdies, while hitting 72 percent of greens in regulation during his second round to ensure making the cut.

So while An's tee time on Saturday is a bit earlier than he might have liked, given how low he had gotten, the 18-year-old doesn't have to start at the crack of dawn.

He'll play with Marc Leishman, as the pair tee off at 10:35 a.m.

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