Saturday, May 19, 2018

Garcia surges into lead at Deutsche Bank Championship

NORTON, Mass. — Sergio Garcia opened with five birdies in seven holes, closed with eagle and wound up as the guy everyone was chasing Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

By everyone, that means 28 players within six shots of his lead with 36 holes to play.

Somehow, that includes Phil Mickelson.

On another day of soft conditions and plenty of birdies on the TPC Boston, Garcia had 7-under 64 during a cool, cloudy morning that stood up for the 36-hole lead when the long and wild afternoon was over. The Spaniard was at 13-under 129, one short of the tournament record. He had a one-shot lead over Roberto Castro and Henrik Stenson.

Garcia is not a regular at the second FedEx Cup playoff event. He prefers to take this week off to rest, but he couldn't guarantee he would be among the top 70 in the standings who will advance to the third event.

"Unfortunately, I didn't play well enough, and it was touch-and-go if I was going to make the BMW without playing here," said Garcia, who is at No. 55. "Sixteen guys could easily pass me if they played well."

He's well on his way to wrapping up a spot. Yet he still managed to be overshadowed by Mickelson's 71.

"I was playing terrible, and I shot even par," Mickelson said. "I got it in the hazard I don't know how many times. If I go on and play the way I believe I'm going to this weekend, I'm going to look back at those nine holes as the key to the entire tournament."

Lefty completely lost his swing during one stretch. He drove left into the hazard on No.  9, way right into the hazard on No. 10 and would have found another hazard on the par-3 11th except for hitting a tree.

He hit into the gallery to the left on No. 12 and to the right on No. 13. His tee shot on the par-3 16th came up short and into the water for double bogey. Mickelson closed with two birdies for 71 and was five shots behind.

LPGA: Yani Tseng moved into position to end a long victory drought, shooting 9-under 63 to move to 18-under 198 for a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore. Tseng is winless in 36 events since the Kia Classic in March 2012. Suzann Pettersen was tied for second with Pornanong Phatlum at 201. Tampa resident Kristy McPherson (72) was at 213 and Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (76) was at 217.

CHAMPIONS: Rocco Mediate played the back nine in 7-under 29 for the second straight day to increase his lead to two strokes in the inaugural Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Alberta. Mediate followed his opening 8-under 63 with 64 to reach 15 under.

OBITUARY: William Campbell, a former U.S. Amateur champion who played on eight Walker Cup teams and later served two years as president of the U.S. Golf Association, died Friday at his home in Lewisburg, W. Va. He was 90.