Sergio Garcia was doing everything right. He had the lead going into the third round. He kept bogeys off his card and made two birdies on the front nine.
And he was losing ground Sunday in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
“You could make a lot of birdies if everything went exactly the right way, kind of like it went on the back nine for me,” Garcia said. “But you have to be patient and just wait for the right time.”
Garcia regained control on the back nine of the rain-softened TPC Boston, making five birdies for a 6-under 65 that gave him a two-shot lead over Henrik Stenson.
Garcia hit 4-iron from 218 yards onto the 18th green for a two-putt birdie as darkness settled over New England on this longest of days.
But nothing is close to being settled at this FedEx Cup playoff event.
Not with such a soft course, with preferred lies, with mint conditions on the putting surfaces and the world’s best players — most of them, anyway — in top form. There were 332 birdies and 10 eagles in the third round, translating to sub-par holes 32 percent of the time.
“There’s heaps of low scores out there,” Stenson said after his 66. “You have to keep making birdies if you want to have anything to do with this tournament. Today was no different. It’s going to be the same tomorrow. I’m sure everyone is coming at us from all different angles.”
Tee times have been moved up to this morning because of the threat of more rain.
Garcia was at 19-under 194, though the Spaniard isn’t great at protecting the 54-hole lead. His record is 3-7 when he has at least a share of the lead going into the last day. And this Labor Day figures to live up to its name. It will take hard work to stay there.