By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- If Roberto Castro goes on to pick up his first PGA TOUR victory this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, he'll likely point to his play on the par 5s as being pivotal.
The former Georgia Tech standout is 7 under on those holes in the first two rounds, including the 37-footer he drained for eagle at No. 2 on Saturday that jump started a round of 65. He's through 36 holes at 12 under and one stroke off Sergio Garcia's lead.
"The eagle on 2 is just one of those putts that looked like the higher up the hill you hit it the more it would come down," Castro said. "I figured if I get it there, it looked like it was going to go in the whole way."
Castro went on to birdie his next three holes, making a 16-footer at No. 3, driving the green at the fourth and two-putting from 56 feet and adding a 10-footer at No. 5. He shot 29 on what he called a "scoreable" front nine but played the back nine in 1 over with a bogey at No. 13 and a double at the 14th before getting two strokes back on his last three holes.
A year ago, Castro was competing in the FedExCup Playoffs for the first time. He left The Barclays as the bubble boy, ranked No. 100, and remained in that spot when he bowed out of the Playoffs after tying for 51st at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Castro is in a much better spot this week. He was 41st entering The Barclays and came to TPC Boston ranked No. 34 after tying for 25th at Liberty National. If he keeps playing like he has in the first two rounds, the Texan who now lives in Atlanta could vault into the top 10 assure himself of a home game at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Castro took a big step forward in his career earlier this year at the AT&T National. He led after the first round and was among four tied at the top of the leaderboard entering the final round. He played well, too, shooting a 69, but Bill Haas, who broke out of the same tie with a 66, just played better.
The runner-up finish was the best of Castro's career -- and being in the hunt added to his learning curve.
"I've played with a lot of good players, the last two years, really," Castro said. "Everybody's good golf looks similar, hit it straight, make putts. There's no, like you said, mystery or magic to good golf out here. It doesn't make it easy."