It took Sergio Garcia a few holes to really get going at the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship but after that he didn’t look back. He played well enough to get himself to six under par and into a tie for fourth after the first 18 holes – two shots behind leaders Phil Mickelson and Brian Davis.
El Niño played his first nine (he started on the back) in just one under par, including a birdie at the 18th. Garcia carded two birdies – including the one at 18 – and a bogey on his front nine. The snack he grabbed at the turn must have really gotten him going, though, because he hit a hot streak to close out his round. He played holes two through seven in five under par, including four straight birdies that started at the second hole. The only par he had during that stretch came at the par-4 sixth.
Garcia’s recipe for success was ball striking – he hit 11 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens in regulation. “Today was very nice,” said Garcia. “I feel like I hit the ball quite well … Hopefully we can keep it going throughout the next three days.” More often than not, when a professional golfer strikes the ball as well as Garcia did today they will end up seeing positive results.
Even though he would have more than likely qualified for the BMW Championship even if he skipped this event – his fifth in a row – Garcia wanted to make sure that he avoided any scenario in which he could potentially be eliminated from the FedEx Cup Playoffs. By showing and he all but assured himself of a spot in next week’s event. By playing as well as he did today, Garcia gave himself some breathing room.
As is usually the question with Garcia, we’ll just have to wait and see if he can hold this form together through an entire tournament.