Following Sergio Garcia is like living on a roller coaster. Earlier this season, it seemed as though he had gotten his game back in shape to be one of the best players on the PGA Tour. With the exception of his withdrawal from the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, Garcia racked up four top-ten finishes in the first half of the season, including ties for eighth at both the Masters and The Players Championship.
Then, of course, as you may have heard, his rivalry with Tiger Woods boiled over in a way that even the best public relations people would struggle to overcome. After Garcia accused Woods of causing a distraction at the Players by pulling a club as Garcia prepared to swing, he continued the war of words through media sessions leading into the U.S. Open.
When he joked that he would invite Woods over and serve fried chicken for dinner, it marked not only one of the most glaring publicity issues of his career, but also prefaced a summer of golf without a single top-20 finish.
At the Deutsche Bank Championship, however, it seems that Garcia has finally got his game straightened out, and he showed it in a big way on Saturday. He came out firing, starting his second round with five birdies on the front nine on his way to a seven-under-par round of 64. Had it not been for an unfortunate double bogey on the par-4 14th, it could have been even better, but Garcia will rest comfortably knowing that he heads into Sunday’s third round with the lead.
Interestingly enough, Garcia actually considered skipping this tournament, but said that his positioning in the FedEx Cup points race didn’t allow for that luxury.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t play well enough and it was touch-and-go if I was going to make the BMW [Championship] without playing here,” he said after the round. “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.”
I have to think he’ll get over playing so much if he can continue this type of play. Coming into the week ranked just 55th in the standings, a win is projected to rocket him all the way up to third heading into the week off before the BMW.
One thing is for sure: whatever happens, Garcia will be exciting to follow through the holiday weekend. Hold onto your seats.