Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Garcia Ties Course Record with 61 to Take Bridgestone Lead

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Garcia Ties Course Record with 61 to Take Bridgestone Lead

Article excerpt

Sergio Garcia doesn't know anything about being in a zone. He had no trouble identifying the best round of his career.

Garcia one-putted the final 11 holes and made birdies on his last seven holes Friday in the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, to tie the course record at Firestone with a 9-under 61 and take a three-shot lead into the weekend.

He had a birdie putt on every hole on the back nine, missing only a 15-footer from the fringe at No. 11. Garcia shot 27 on the back nine, a course record.

"Just one of those moments that you love and you enjoy, and you wish there were no end," he said.

It matched the tournament record held by Tiger Woods, who shot 61 in 2000 and 2013, and Jose Maria Olazabal, who shot his 61 in 1990. Woods went on to win by 11 shots in 2000 and seven shots last year. Olazabal won by 12 in the World Series of Golf.

Garcia still has work to do.

He was at 11-under 129, three shots clear of Justin Rose, who had a 67. British Open champion Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes for a 64 and joined Marc Leishman of Australia (67) four shots out of the lead.

Garcia's previous best score was a 62 on three other occasions as a 19-year-old at the Scottish Open and Byron Nelson Classic in 1999, and in Ireland in 2002 at the American Express Championship.

Woods also shot his 61s at Firestone in the second round. He could have used something remotely close to that to stay in range of Garcia. Instead, Woods hit only four fairways off the tee and couldn't seem to make anything on the green. It added to a 71, leaving him 10 shots behind.

"I didn't hit the ball well. I didn't putt well. I didn't do anything well," Woods said. "The only thing I did well was I fought hard. Grinded hard. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very good day."

Starting times for the third round today were moved up, with threesomes off both tees, because of a forecast for storms. …

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