By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- Count Sergio Garcia among the players glad to see the season coming to an end.
But he'd like nothing better than to go out with a victory at East Lake -- and Garcia has put himself in the hunt with a round of 68 that left him three strokes off the lead in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola when he finished.
Garcia made four birdies and two bogeys on Thursday. At the same time, he only hit six faiurways and 13 greens in regulation so the 32-year-old Spaniardthan knows there's room for improvement.
"I didn't feel like I played that great," Garcia said. "I managed to score nicely, I guess. I had some good up and downs early in the round and then made a couple nice birdies towards the back.
"Overall, it was a good day. It's a difficult golf course even though the conditions were really, really nice. Every time you shoot under par or around par on this golf course, you're never unhappy with that."
Garcia, who is playing in the TOUR Championship for the fourth time in the FedExCup era, has two top-10s at East Lake during that time. solo second in 2008 and fourth the previous year. He came in ranked 25th in the FedExCup after a playing eight of the last nine PGA TOUR events in hopes of improving his position.
"I'd love to feel a little bit different out there on the course," Garcia said. "I'd love to feel ... a bit more energy, probably with what this tournament deserves.
"But unfortunately, I had to play where I had to play, and it's kind of dragging on a little bit. But we'll try to hopefully find an avenue to play decent the next two days and then rest up."