SERGIO Garcia had a good start and a great finish last night in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
He opened with five birdies in seven holes, and knocked in an 18-foot eagle putt on the 18th at TPC Boston for a 7-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Roberto Castro among the early starters in the second round.
Matt Kuchar had a 66 and was three shots behind, while Phil Mickelson, who opened with a 63, was among the late starters, playing for the second straight day with Tiger Woods, who was 10 shots off the lead when he teed off.
Garcia is not a regular at the second FedEx Cup play-off event. He prefers to take this week off to rest, but couldn’t guarantee that he would be among the top 70 in the standings after the event who advance to the third round
He said: “Unfortunately, I didn’t play well enough and it was touch and go if I was going to make the BMW without playing here.”
The Spaniard, currently No.55 in the world added: “Sixteen guys could easily pass me if they played well. So we decided to come here and make a little bit of an extra effort of playing five weeks in a row.”
The morning portion of the second round was mostly a duel between Garcia and Castro.
The Texan made an eagle on the par-5 second hole and reached the turn in 7-under 29. But he missed the green and bogeyed the 13th and then took two shots to get out of a grassy mound short of the 14th hole and took double bogey. He birdied two of the last three for a 65.
South Africa’s Ernie Els and Ian Poulter are also still in the mix after their third rounds.
Els was at 7-under 135. He would need to be in about 15th place or better to advance to the next play-off stage. “It’s a nice little challenge I’ve got,” Els said.
Poulter doesn’t have a great record at TPC Boston. But he feels he is playing well, and is angry at the thought that, if he doesn’t advance to the BMW Championship, he has the next seven weeks at home.
“I’m playing well and I don’t want the time off,” Poulter said after a 68 put him at 8-under 134.
Rory McIlroy is already safe for the third play-off event and was inside the cut until taking a double bogey on the par-5 18th. He had to wait the rest of the day to see if it was enough.