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Golf finally felt easy to Jeff Sluman, and it wasn't hard to see why.

From a fairway bunker on the 18th hole, he had to play a 20-yard hook to avoid the trees and reach the elevated green. His 7-iron stopped 16 inches from the cup for his ninth birdie, a course-record 62 and a two-shot lead in the Chrysler Championship on Thursday.

"You kind of wonder to yourself why in the world you can't do that more often because it seems so easy," Sluman said. "Other days, making one or two birdies seems like it's going to be impossible."

The previous record was a 63 by K.J. Choi in 2002.

Jonathan Kaye made a hole-in-one with a 3-iron from 222 yards on 17, then followed that with a birdie for a 7-under 64. He was tied with Kirk Triplett and Kent Jones. Vijay Singh made five birdies in a seven-hole stretch for a 65.

The Chrysler Championship is the final full-field tournament of the year, the last chance for players to get into the Tour Championship (top 30 on the money list), the Masters (top 40) or keep their PGA Tour cards for next year (top 125).

Sluman is 79th on the money list, his worst season in 10 years. Only a victory would give him a mathematical chance at playing next week at East Lake, or at Augusta National in April.

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