NORTON, Mass. -- Sergio Garcia, leading by two over Henrik Stenson, will tee off an hour from now at 11:30 a.m. ET.
Ten times previously in his career he has had at least a share of the lead going into the final round. The most recent of those was at this year's THE PLAYERS Championship, where he was still tied for the lead with two holes to play before he proceeded to hit three balls into the water on TPC Sawgrass' 17th hole.
Only three times, in fact, has Garcia gone on to win when he has been in this situation -- the last of those coming at last year's Wyndham Championship.
But Garcia also has a history of playing well here. He's never missed a cut in five starts at TPC Boston and he has never finished lower than 31st (his best was a tie for fifth in 2008).
Here is perhaps the most disconcerting stat, however, when it comes to Garcia: He ranks 165th in final-round scoring average this season with a 72.33. That's a big drop-off from his average before the cut, which is 69.96 and ranks eighth.
Will Garcia hold on for the win? Or will Stenson or someone else catch him? Discuss below.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Sergio Garcia matched his career-low 64 at TPC Boston on Saturday and grabbed sole possession of the lead at the midway point of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Garcia has completed 36 holes at 13 under, which gives him a one-stroke advantage over Roberto Castro and Henrik Stenson. Stenson, who came in ranked 13th in the FedExCup, birdied his last two holes for a 63 that tied the low round of the tournament so far while Castro had a 65.
Matt Kuchar, who is ranked fourth in the FedExCup, and recent PGA champ Jason Dufner are the only other players in double digits at 10 under after matching rounds of 66. But there are a total of 19 players within five strokes of the lead on a TPC Boston course that has been extremely generous this week -- playing nearly two strokes under par in the first two rounds.
The top three players in the FedExCup -- Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson -- have had mixed results through 36 holes on a course where all three have won.
Mickelson, who threatened 59 before settling for a round of 8 under on Friday followed with an adventurous even-par 71 that saw him hit just eight fairways and 10 greens in regulation. Woods shot a 67 that moved him to 7 under while Scott, who The Barclays on Sunday, rebounded from an opening 73 to shoot a solid 66.
The cut came at 1 under and included 75 players. Among those leaving early were Bill Haas, who won the FedExCup in 2011, and Rickie Fowler.
Only the top 70 players in the FedExCup standings when the Deutcshe Bank Championship concludes on Labor Day will advance to the BMW Championship in two weeks.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Sergio Garcia almost didn't play in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
But after poor performances at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, the Spaniard didn't want to risk his spot in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Garcia was 59th in the standings following last week's event and though he is all but guaranteed through to the BMW Championship in two weeks, he didn't want to take the chance.
The decision to play has worked out well so far.
Garcia shot a 7-under 64 Saturday at TPC Boston to get to 13 under and a one-shot lead halfway through the second leg of the Playoffs.
"I would've loved to play better at Bridgestone, PGA, finish a little bit better the last couple of weeks and been able to take a couple of weeks off," said Garcia, who is playing for the fifth straight week. "That would have been the ideal thing for me.'
Instead, he took advantage of the ideal conditions of a golf course that has yielded plenty of red through the first two days.
Garcia made seven birdies, an eagle and one double bogey -- despite the distraction of his group at one point being put on the clock.
He had just 25 total putts, including 11 one-putts, and hit all but four greens in regulation. The last of them came on the par-5 18th, where he drained an 18-footer for eagle.
"We decided to come here and make a little bit of an extra effort of playing obviously five weeks in a row, which I don't usually enjoy very much," added Garcia, who has also been hard on himself this summer since making an ill-advised joke at a European Tour dinner earlier this year.
"The summer has been tough. It's been a little bit difficult for me. But I'm trying hard to keep going, to keep doing the right things. At the end of the day that's the only thing I can ask myself for, give my best effort out there. Some days you feel better than others."
Mark down Saturday as one of them.
NORTON, Mass. -- At one point, Sergio Garcia considered skipping the Deutsche Bank Championship. At 55th in the FedExCup standings, his spot in the field for the BMW Championship in two weeks was already secure.
It's a good thing he didn't.
Garcia went out in 31 in Saturday's second round at TPC Boston, where he made five birdies and no bogeys through his first nine holes to get to 11 under and, at least for now, a share of the lead.
For the week, Garcia, who in 2008 finished fifth here, has 12 birdies and just one bogey.
A big reason Garcia has played well so far today: His ball-striking. Only one of Garcia's five birdies has come from outside 9 feet. Everything else has been tight.
Also with a share of the lead with Garcia is Roberto Castro, who eagled the par-5 second then ripped off three straight birdies.
With TPC Boston continuing to play soft on an overcast, moist day, expect more of the same throughout the morning.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- The early pace has been set by Phil Mickelson. Now the question is can anyone from the afternoon wave catch him?
Here's a look at who and what to keep an eye on this afternoon from TPC Boston (all times ET):
Luke Donald, 12:22 p.m.: The once No. 1 player in the world and top-10 machine has just four top 10s this year, but he has had success here, finishing second in 2010 and third in 2011.
Sergio Garcia, 12:22 p.m.: Five years ago, Garcia finished fifth at TPC Boston. This year, he comes in looking for his first top 10 since THE PLAYERS Championship. At 59th in the FedExCup standings, however, he is safe for getting into the BMW Championship.
Rory McIlroy, 12:46 p.m.: What a difference a year makes. Last season, McIlroy was on top of the world and would win here and at the BMW Championship. This time he's just hoping to salvage what has been a mostly lost season. TPC Boston suits him well and this week could be telling.
Jason Day, Webb Simpson, 12:46p.m.: Day is playing with a sore wrist, but he has a good history here with a runner-up in 2010 and a third-place finish the following year. Likewise with Simpson, who won here in 2011.
Steve Stricker, Charl Schwartzel, 12:58 p.m.: This week marks Stricker's first Playoffs event of the year, while Schwartzel is making just his third appearance at TPC Boston (he's never finished in the top 20).
Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, 1:10 p.m.: Rose nearly forced a playoff last week before finishing one back of winner Adam Scott. Snedeker, meanwhile, is trying to regain his early-season form as he tries to become the first player to win back-to-back FedExCups.
Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, 1:10 p.m.: Given Johnson's length, TPC Boston sets up well for him. Twice he has finished in the top 5 here. Fowler, meanwhile, is coming off a top 10 last week.
Ernie Els, 1:34 p.m.: The Big Easy is on the outside looking in at 91st in the FedExCup standings. In the FedExCup era, Els has never not made it to at least the BMW Championship.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A year ago, Sergio Garcia rode the momentum of his victory at the Wyndham Championship into the FedExCup Playoffs and nearly emerged with a second straight win at The Barclays.
Garcia led by two entering the final round at Bethpage Black but Nick Watney closed with a 69 to the Spaniard's 75 and ended up winning for the fifth time on TOUR. Even so, Garcia went on to finish 17th in the FedExCup, which was his best finish since the current points system was adopted in 2009 -- by 21 spots.
This is a new year and a different venue but Garcia is playing well again at The Barclays, firing a bogey-free 66 on Friday that moved him within three shots of webb Simpson's lead at the midway point of the second round. Garcia made three birdies and drained a 46-footer for eagle at the sixth hole on a windswept day at Liberty National.
"The only good thing about it was that the course was still soft from yesterday's rain, but it was quite windy," Garcia said. "So it was difficult to hit it close to some of the pins. Some of the pins were quite tucked, but I was able to hit two or three shots that were very, very close, some good birdie opportunities.
"I rolled a couple really good putts, and obviously the long bomb on 6 for eagle."
Garcia ended up playing 30 holes on Friday after two delays of nearly six hours forced a marathon first round that spilled over into the next day. The 33-year-old was playing in the afternoon wave on Thursday and as it turned out didn't tee off until 5:40 p.m. ET.
"Yesterday at 1:30, it got to the point where I couldn't stay in the room anymore," Garcia reported. "I did a little bit of bike and I just couldn't really stay anymore, so I came here and I just waited it out until we got to tee off. ... So it was a long day, not easy.
"I would rather have a day like today, I would rather play too much than too little, because at least you get in a rhythm. When you've been waiting all day and you only play like five or six holes at six in the afternoon, you feel like the whole day has gone and you've pretty much done nothing."
Garcia has hit 22 of 28 faiarways and 24 of 36 greens in regulation over the first two rounds while using 52 putts. He said he expects the course to get firmer as the weekend progresses -- particularly if the wind off the Hudson River continues to blow.
"The course will get faster as the week goes on if it doesn't rain, and it will get more difficult," Garcia said. "Even though there's not much rough, there's a lot of danger out there on all those tee shots and you have to be careful with where you position your ball."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sergio Garcia nearly picked up where he left off a year ago when he departed Sedgefield Country Club as the winner of the Wyndham Championship.
Instead, his 65 on Thursday left the Spaniard one stroke off the lead held by Chris Stroud as Garcia began his title defense, bidding to be the first to repeat since Sam Snead in the 1950s.
Snead won the tournament a PGA TOUR record eight times but Garcia is starting to show the same kind of affinity for the tournament the Slammer did. The round of 5 under was Garcia's eighth in the 60s in the nine rounds he's played at Sedgefield during the Wyndham Championship.
Garcia has played Sedgefield three times -- winning once and finishing one shot out of a playoff in his other start while on the PGA TOUR and finishing solo third as an 18-year-old amateur in a Web.com Tour event.
Garcia only missed one green and two fairways on Thursday, and his round could have been lower had his putter cooperated with fewer than those 31 putts he took.
"You have to obviously drive the ball well on this course to put yourself in good positions to attack some of the pins," Garcia said. "If you manage to do that and hit some good iron shots you're going to have some birdie putts but if you hit it -- hit above the hole, it's not like it used to be with the bent grass.
"The greens are so much faster than they used to be and some of the spots you just kind of lagging it trying to hopefully make it. So, you know, you have to pay attention to some of those things."
Garcia didn't make a bogey on Thursday but he stopped short of saying his round was easy. His birdie putts came from 5, 13, 2, 14 and 3 feet --- the latter the result of a two-putt from 49 feet at the par-5 15th.
"Obviously I made some good two putts from long range," Garcia said. "I did hit the ball pretty nicely which was nice to see and holed a couple nice putts here and there. But, overall, I'm very happy with the round and hoping to do some of the same, more of the same tomorrow."