NORTON, Mass. – Roberto Castro played his college golf at Georgia Tech, and the 28-year-old still lives in Atlanta. By opening the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 6-under 65 Friday, he took a big step toward a potential homecoming at the Tour Championship next month.
“I would say that would be a good goal,” Castro said of reaching the final stage of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. “My coach is at home in Atlanta, and we’ve just been kind of joking around, ‘Let’s take it back home.’ Something to kind of play for.”
For Castro, a player in just his second year on the PGA Tour, a spot at East Lake looms as a tantalizing target; in addition to a earning a shot at the season-long prize, he would also gain entry into each of the first three majors in 2014 should he advance to the fourth playoff leg. Beginning the week 34th in the points race, Castro’s chances of returning home to Atlanta next month were further buoyed by his effort Friday, one that included eight birdies and left him two shots behind overnight leaders Phil Mickelson and Brian Davis.
Despite the stakes, the former Yellow Jacket insists he doesn’t feel any extra sense of urgency this week.
“It’s more just fun, I don’t see it as any pressure really,” explained Castro, who finished 77th in the final FedEx Cup standings last year. “If I play well, I think I can make Atlanta. I don’t need to win, but I can’t finish 50th. I just need to play well.”
Already assured of a spot in the field at the BMW Championship in two weeks, Castro offered a unique reason for looking ahead to his trip to Conway Farms with anticipation.
“It’s great. It’ll be my first tournament ever without a cut,” he added. “I’m already pumped about that.”