Garcia looking to regain early season form


NORTON, Mass. – After a torrid start to the 2013 season, Sergio Garcia has cooled somewhat over the last three months. Having opened the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 6-under 65 Friday, though, the Spaniard once again finds his name high upon a PGA Tour leaderboard.

“Today was very nice,” said Garcia, whose solid ball-striking at TPC Boston resulted in 11 of 14 fairways hit and 16 of 18 greens reached in regulation. “I feel like I hit the ball quite well … Hopefully we can keep it going throughout the next three days.”

Garcia began his 2013 campaign on the PGA Tour with seven top-20 finishes in his first eight starts, a streak that was capped with his high-profile tie for eighth at The Players Championship. Since leaving TPC Sawgrass, though, he has only one top-25 result in six starts, a tie for 21st at the Open Championship. As a result, Garcia now finds himself on the final leg of a stretch of five events in five weeks with an eye on retaining his spot in next week’s BMW Championship.

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“Three (events in a row) is usually my max,” explained Garcia, who opted to skip this event a year ago and went on to finish 17th in the final standings. “This year obviously I would love to play a little bit better and maybe take this week off, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to do that and we try our best here.”

Currently 55th in the points race, Garcia was likely to earn a spot in the field at Conway Farms in two weeks’ time regardless of his performance this week. Still, the Spaniard opted to tee it up for a fifth straight week to avoid a potential scenario in which he would not meet the minimum requirements to keep his PGA Tour card for the 2013-14 season.

“This is my 15th tournament, so if for whatever reason a lot of players played well and kept me out, I wouldn’t be able to play my minimum,” added Garcia, who sits two shots behind Phil Mickelson and Brian Davis after one round. “Just makes for a little extra effort this week. Now I’ve got my number so I can relax a little bit.”