By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- He's never had an albatross. So D.A. Points was watching anxiously as the 2-iron hybrid he launched from the right side of the fairway went tracking toward the pin at the par-5 18th hole at TPC Boston on Saturday.
Unfortunately, the ball stopped 20 inches shy of the hole. But the tap-in eagle moved Points to 9 under and into a tie for fifth with Seung-yul Noh, Jason Dufner, Chris Kirk and his playing partner, Charl Schwartzel.
"It would have been really cool to make that double eagle, but I'll definitely settle for a foot-and-a-half eagle putt," the affable Points said with a smile.
Points, who starts Sunday's third round three shots off the lead, came into the Deutsche Bank Championship with work to do if he wants to advance in the FedExCup Playoffs. He was 72nd at the start of the week and only the top 70 players when the tournament is over on Labor Day advance to next week's BMW Championship.
When Saturday's round was over, Points was projected to move to No. 38. But he knows only too well that he can't afford to let up after missing the cut in seven of his last 10 starts, including last week at The Barclays.
"It's nice to pick it up and play well these first two days," Points said. "But really, the FedExCup is major for us. It's a big opportunity not only to make some great money but to finish in that top 30, gets you in all the majors and opens up a lot of doors. That's really what it's about for me, getting back to Augusta and getting locked into all those majors so I can focus my attention on trying to win a major."
Given his slump since losing in that playoff at the Wells Fargo Championship -- his third and final top-10 of the season -- back in May, Points was "very satisfied" by his performance so far at TPC Boston.
"I've definitely hit it good this week, and I've putted fine, just haven't made a ton, and hopefully I'm saving it for these last two days, and go crazy," he said. "... Golf is a game of ebbs and flows like everything, and I've been on a downward ebb for a while, a downward flow. So I just had to be patient and keep grinding away and trying to find something that will spark some great play, and so far it's going all right."