NORTON, Mass. — Sergio Garcia opened with five birdies in seven holes, closed with an 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. And somehow, that includes Phil Mickelson.
On another day of soft conditions and plenty of birdies on the TPC Boston, Garcia had a 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.
Tiger Woods, in the 1-2-3 grouping with Mickelson and Adam Scott that attracted a massive crowd standing three-deep in spots, made a 35-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole for a 67 and was among those within six shots of the lead. Mickelson, however, managed to steal the show with a 71. And this was no ordinary 71.
Lefty went on some kind of crazy ride, completely losing his swing during one stretch when he looked closer to hitting Rhode Island than hitting a fairway. 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 into the gallery to the right on No. 13. His tee shot on the par-3 16th came up short and into the water for double bogey.
“It’s embarrassing to hit shots like that, and to have a bunch of people out there, playing with Tiger and having every shot exposed on TV ... you know, it’s embarrassing,” Mickelson said. “But we all have our moments like that. And you just have to deal with it.”
Stenson had eight birdies and a clean card in his round of 63. Castro was 7 under for his round at the turn and had to settle for a 65.
LPGA: Yani Tseng moved into position to end a long victory drought, shooting a 9-under 63 on Saturday to take a three-stroke lead into the final round of the Safeway Classic in Portland, Ore.
Tseng, who has 15 LPGA Tour titles, has tumbled to No. 15 in the world and missed cuts in the four of her last five tournaments.
Tseng had 11 birdies and two bogeys to reach 18 under at Columbia Edgewater. Norway’s Suzann Pettersen was tied for second with Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum.
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.
The 50-year-old Mediate, the Allianz Championship winner in February in his first Champions Tour start, shot a 64 to reach 15 under at tree-lined Canyon Meadows.
PGA EUROPEAN: American Peter Uihlein moved into position for his second European Tour victory of the year, shooting a 4-under 67 to take a three-stroke lead in the Wales Open.
Uihlein had a 7-under 206 total on Celtic Manor’s Twenty Ten Course, the site of the 2010 Ryder Cup. The 2010 U.S. Amateur champion won the Madeira Islands Open in May.