NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Sergio Garcia had a good start and a great finish Saturday in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Garcia opened with five birdies in seven holes, and then knocked in an 18-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole at the TPC Boston for a 7-under 64 and a one-shot lead over Roberto Castro among the early starters in the second round.
Matt Kuchar had a 66 and was three shots behind.
Phil Mickelson, who opened with a 63, was among the late players on a cloudy afternoon and playing for the second straight day with Tiger Woods, who was 10 shots out of the lead when he teed off.
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 that he would be among the top 70 in the standings after the Deutsche Bank Championship who advance to the third event
So far, it looks like a good move.
"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. So we decided to come here and make a little bit of an extra effort of playing five weeks in a row, which I don't usually enjoy very much."
Garcia looked as if he would be much higher in the FedEx Cup standings earlier this year, when he had top 10s in a World Golf Championship, the Masters and The Players Championship. But his year took a bad turn off the course. During a two-week spat with Woods that began at The Players Championship, Garcia jokingly said during a Q-and-A at an awards dinner in London that he would invite Woods over during for dinner during the U.S. Open and serve fried chicken.
He apologized the next day, though he was clearly rattled. Garcia hasn't finished in the top 20 since.
"Everything has been kind of a little difficult, but it's good," Garcia said. "It's been a good learning experience. So I think that you always have to try to take the positives out of all those things and learn from your mistakes. And hopefully, (they) make you a better player, a better person."