Sergio on Cruise Control in Charlotte

By Sports NetworkMay 7, 2005, 4:00 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sergio Garcia fired a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a six-shot lead through three rounds of the Wachovia Championship. Garcia's 54-hole total of 12-under-par 204 established a new record, besting the old mark of 205 shared by David Toms and Arron Oberholser.
D.J. Trahan carded a 1-under 71. He was joined in a tie for second place at 6-under-par 210 by former major championship winners Jim Furyk (69) and Vijay Singh (71). Nick Price, a three-time major champion, stands alone in fifth place at 5-under-par 211.
Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia seemed to be feasting on his opponents during his third round in Charlotte.
Tiger Woods was unable to get anything going on Saturday as he shot a 1-over 73. He bogeyed the second, but rebounded with birdies on three and five. The world's No. 1 player wrapped bogies at the sixth and eighth around a birdie on seven. After nine straight pars, Woods bogeyed the par-4 18th to end at 1-under-par 215, 11 shots off the pace.
Garcia opened with a 3-foot birdie putt on the first to move two strokes clear of Trahan. However, Garcia stumbled to a double bogey at the par-4 fourth to slip back into a tie for the lead alongside Trahan.
After a Trahan birdie on the fifth, Garcia chipped inside 1 foot of the cup at the same hole and kicked in the birdie to join Trahan at minus-7. Garcia and Trahan each two-putted for birdie on the par-5 seventh to remain atop the leaderboard.
Trahan, playing one group ahead of Garcia, again moved one shot clear with a birdie on the 10th. However, that would be the last he saw of first.
Garcia matched Trahan's birdie on the 10th at Quail Hollow Club. Trahan faltered to a bogey at the 11th to give Garcia the lead.
The 25-year-old Garcia kept pouring it on with a 7-foot birdie putt at the 11th to move to 10-under, two strokes clear of the field. The five-time winner lost his drive into the trees right of the fairway at the 12th.
Garcia ended up bogeying the 12th, but no matter as he bounced back strong. He came back with a birdie on No. 13, then drained a 10-foot birdie putt on the 14th to take a four-shot lead at minus-11.
The Spaniard made it three straight as he two-putted for birdie on par-5 15th.
'I hit some really good, quality shots coming in,' said Garcia, who won twice in 2004. 'I got on a great stretch from 10 to 15, and unfortunately only that one bad drive on 12, but I don't know, I guess you can't hit them all well.'
He went on to par his final three holes.
'I felt like I played pretty solid all day,' Garcia stated. 'I started very well with a birdie on one, and that got me going a little bit. Both times I made a bogey or a double, I came back nicely with a birdie on the next. That gets you going. That was really nice.'
Furyk also used a solid back nine to climb the leaderboard. The former U.S. Open champion bogeyed the third and fourth, but got those strokes back with birdies on five and seven.
The 34-year-old dropped in back-to-back birdies from the 10th and again from the 13th to jump to 7-under. Furyk however tripped to a bogey on No. 16 to end at minus-six.
'The wind definitely died down as they predicted yesterday, but the course definitely firmed up a little bit,' said Furyk. 'Some of those greens were relatively firm out there, pins were in some tough spots and I think the scores reflected it. You're going to get in some tough places out here, that's just the way this golf course is.'
Trahan kept pace early on with Garcia with birdies on one, five and seven. The 24-year-old collected his final birdie on the 10th to move to 9-under. However, he slipped to a bogey at 11 and another at 14. Trahan's fall was not done as he bogeyed the 17th to finish in a tie for second.
Singh carded a lone bogey to go with one birdie over his first 10 holes. At the 11th, the world's No. 2 stumbled to another bogey to fall to minus-4. Singh came back with a birdie on the 14th and got to 6-under with a birdie on the par-4 16th. He parred the final two holes.
Joey Sindelar, the defending champion, struggled to a 1-over 73. He was joined in a tie for sixth at 4-under-par 212 by Greg Owen, who shot a 71 in the third round.
Scott Verplank, Dean Wilson, Richard S. Johnson, Kenny Perry and Patrick Sheehan share eighth at minus-three.
Related links:
  • Leaderboard - Wachovia Championship

  • Full Coverage - Wachovia Championship
  • Getty Images

    TT postscript: This 65 better than Aronimink 62

    By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 9:21 pm

    ATLANTA – The start wasn’t much to look at, but that finish was something else. Tiger Woods eagled the final hole on Thursday and shares the 18-hole lead at the Tour Championship. Here are the things you know you want to know:

    • First of all, let’s give a pat on the back to the man who most deserves it today: Me. Early this morning, I sent this tweet:

    Never doubt my good feelings. Ben Crenshaw doesn’t have my good feelings. We may have 54 holes to play, but I gotta good feeling we’re going to be changing that Tiger Tracker avatar Sunday night.

    • Now onto Tiger. After all, he did hit 10 of 14 fairways, 14 of 18 greens in regulation and took 28 putts. It wasn’t looking good early when he had nine putts through four holes and was 1 over par. But he birdied Nos. 5 and 6, turned in 1 under, and really turned it on down the stretch with two birdies and an eagle over his final seven holes. And if you take a good look at the scorecard below you’ll notice he didn’t make a bogey after the first hole.

    • How good is a 65 at East Lake? Better than his opening 62 at Aronimink, according to Woods: “This was by far better than the 62 at Aronimink. Conditions were soft there. This is – it's hard to get the ball closer. There's so much chase in it. If you drive the ball in the rough, you know you can't get the ball close.”

    Woods added that you had to play “conservatively” and be patient – take what the course allowed. Tiger missed five putts – four of them for birdie – inside 15 feet. But in the 93-degree heat, he kept his composure and made putts of 26 and 28 feet for birdie, and 28 feet for eagle.

    • This week feels different. It feels like Tiger is really ready to win again. He seems very serious, very focused. He talked about “getting the W” on Wednesday and said on Thursday, “[T]he objective is to always win.”

    After shooting 65, Woods signed a few autographs and eventually made his way to the putting green. If he gets those 15-footer to fall, we’re going to be two wins away from tying Sammy.

    • So, what about that eagle on 18, you ask? Tiger said he “hammered” a driver – which was listed at 320 yards – and then hit a 5-wood from 256 yards to 28 feet. As for the putt: “It took forever for that putt to start breaking, grain coming down off the left. But once it snagged it, it was going straight right.”

    Right into the cup. Right into the lead. Our man is making history this week.

    Getty Images

    Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

    By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 8:30 pm

    Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

    Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

    Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

    Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

    Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

    Woods finished his round with a vintage eagle on the par-5 18th hole, finding the green with a 5-wood from 256 yards out and then sinking the 28-foot putt.

    The eagle at the last gave Woods a share of the early first-round lead with Rickie Fowler at 5-under 65.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

    By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

    Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

    Getty Images

    Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

    By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

    Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

    Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

    It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.

    Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters

    A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

    Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.