Sergio Garcia started the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship with the lead and shot 65. And he needed every birdie.
On a TPC Boston course softened by rain, Garcia kept his nose in front and gave himself a two-shot cushion with a birdie on the final hole as darkness settled over Norton, Mass.
Nothing is close to being settled going into the Labor Day final round of the second FedEx Cup playoff.
Garcia was at 19-under 194 and had a two-shot lead over Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. The Swede went birdie-for-birdie with Garcia for much of the overcast day until a three-putt bogey on the 17th left him with a 66.
Graham DeLaet of Canada all but locked up a spot on the Presidents Cup team with a 62 that left him three shots behind with Steve Stricker, who had a 63 and took a big step toward making the U.S. team for the matches next month at Muirfield Village.
About the only ones who couldn’t keep up were Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Mickelson, who started the third round five shots out of the lead, had a 71 and trails by 12 shots.
Woods wobbled through a round he finished with a three-putt par for a 1-over 72.
“I just didn’t have it today,” Woods said. “I just didn’t hit it well. I didn’t make anything. I had a bad day at the wrong time.”
The average score was 68.2 – Puyallup’s Ryan Moore shot a 68 and was tied for 47th – and anything higher than that meant losing ground.
“We can’t control the weather,” Garcia said. “And you’ve just got to go out there and try to play the best you can. And I was very happy to see that my best was 6 under.”
The final round will help determine the top 70 in FedEx Cup points for the BMW Championship, Sept. 12-15 near Chicago; and likely Presidents Cup picks by captains Nick Price (International) and Fred Couples (United States).
Immelman wins card
Former Masters winner Trevor Immelman rallied to win the Hotel Fitness Championship, the Web.com Tour Finals opener, at Sycamore Hills in Fort Wayne, Ind., to lock up a PGA Tour card for 2014.
Immelman, the South African who won at Augusta in 2008, birdied the final hole for a 6-under 66 and a one-stroke win over former UCLA star Patrick Cantlay.
The top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list through the regular season are assured of PGA Tour cards, while Nos. 26-75 are fighting with Nos. 126-200 in the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup standings for 25 additional cards in the four-event tour finals.
With the $180,000 first-place check, Immelman, 143rd in the FedEx Cup standings, is guaranteed to get one of those cards.
Michael Putnam, from University Place and the tour’s money champion, shot a 70 to tie for seventh.
Rocco Mediate ran away with the inaugural Chmapions Tour Shaw Charity Classic in Calgary, Canada. He closed with a 7-under 64 to finish seven shots ahead of Tom Byrum. France’s Gregory Bourdy birdied his last three holes to shoot 67 and pass American Peter Uihlein (72) for a two-shot win at the Wales Open in Newport. Bourdy ended a four-year winless drought on the European tour.