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Garcia Soars to Top of Deutsche Bank Championship
Sergio Garcia followed up his opening 6-under 65 with a 64 Saturday to take the halfway lead in the Deutsche Bank Championship. The $8 million tournament - the second leg of the four-event FedEx Cup Playoffs - is taking place at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass.
The 33-year-old Spaniard, an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour, opened with five birdies on the front nine to make the turn in 5-under 31. On the home half, he recorded two more birdies, a double-bogey on the par-4 14th and an eagle on the par-5 closing hole to reach 13-under 129, a stroke ahead of Texan Roberto Castro (65) and Sweden's Henrik Stenson, who shot an 8-under 63.
Three back of Garcia are Matt Kuchar and 2013 PGA champion Jason Dufner, who both shot 66s. Sharing sixth at 133 are reigning U.S. Open champion Justin Rose of England - who matched Stenson's 63 for the low round of the day - and two American youngsters, 20-year-old Jordan Spieth (66) and 24-year-old Harris English (67).
After opening with a disappointing 70, Rose said it was rewarding to finally perform to his capabilities. "It was clicking, absolutely," he told PGATour.com after posting four birdies on both the front and back nines. "It was a good, clean round of golf. I felt like I haven't played a bogey-free round for a while, and that's what I managed to do today."
Eleven players are tied for ninth at 134. The group includes South Africa's Brendon de Jonge (65), Australian Jason Day (67), England's Ian Poulter (68), South Korean K.J. Choi (67) and Americans Steve Stricker (68), Keegan Bradley (65), Brendan Steele (67), Scott Piercy (66), Brian Gay (67), Nicholas Thompson (68) and Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson, who started off hot with a 63 to take a share of the 18-hole lead Friday, followed up with an even-par 71. After going out with two birdies to make the turn in 2-under 34, "Lefty" ran into trouble on the home half with two bogeys and a double on the first six holes before redeeming his round with birdies on the last two holes.
Tiger Woods shot a 67 after opening with a 68 and is now tied for 20th at 135. Among the nine others at that number is Mickelson's first-round co-leader Brian Davis of England, who shot 72 Saturday.
Adam Scott, who won FedEx Cup Playoffs' opening tournament - The Barclays - last week, carded a 66 to help offset the 73 he posted Friday.
Defending champion Rory McIlroy shot an even-par 71 to make the cut of 1-under 141 right on the number. The 24-year-old Northern Irishman was in good shape at 2-under before reaching the 18th at TPC Boston, where he hit his approach into a water hazard to end his round with a double-bogey.
"I thought I could carry the water," lamented McIlroy, who went 20-under on the same course last year. "It didn't come off the way I wanted it to." The Ulsterman then added, "It feels like I can't get anywhere away from even-par. I'm getting a little frustrated and impatient because of that."
Among those who didn't make the cut were 2011 FedEx Cup champion Bill Haas, who carded two 72s, Rickie Fowler (71, 73) and Robert Garrigus, who opened with a 67 but took 10 strokes more in the second round.
The top-70 players in the FedEx Cup points' standings at the conclusion of the last round on Labor Day Monday will qualify for the third leg of the Playoffs, the BMW Championship in two weeks at Conway Farms Golf Club in Illinois.
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