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García 'Pops' Into The Lead

Sergio Garcia entered the third round atop the leaderboard. (Brandon Connelly, Global Golf Post)
Sergio Garcia entered the third round atop the leaderboard. (Brandon Connelly, Global Golf Post)

Ear ye, ear ye.

The backstory to Sergio García’s sweet 64 that staked him to a one-stroke lead ahead of Ryan Palmer midway through the BMW Championship at Cherry Hills Friday involved his left ear, which began bothering him on the sixth hole and still didn’t feel right when he finished.

It seemed more annoying than serious to García, who spent a portion of his afternoon contorting his jaw trying to get his ear to pop, looking at times like a man with something caught between his molars.

“It happened on the sixth green so obviously it helped because then I made (eagle) 2 on the next,” García said.

That’s true. García holed a downwind 126-yard lob wedge shot for a deuce at No. 7 to thrust himself into the storyline. He already had holed a 46-foot bunker shot for a birdie at the par-4 second hole, a nice way to jump-start his second round.

It brings to mind the old adage of beware the sick golfer. García isn’t sick but, well, you get the idea.

“First, it was like a beeping sound in my ear and then it kind of popped,” García said. “It’s happened before but usually I kind of blow it and it gets back. But for some reason it just didn’t feel the same.

“It was uncomfortable for five or six holes then it got a little bit better.”

The weather probably didn’t help. Two days after the temperate hit 93 degrees, it was gray and chilly, with a persistent breeze that had players pulling on sweatshirts and fans putting their hands in their pockets. Football weather here in the land of the Broncos.

García skipped the Deutsche Bank Championship last week, wanting to stay fresh for the last two events of the FedEx Cup playoffs and, perhaps more importantly though he didn’t say it that way, the Ryder Cup in three weeks.

He and his girlfriend checked out the U.S. Open tennis in New York then hung out in the Hamptons, enjoying the beach and the good life.

It was pretty good Friday where García managed to shoot 64 while hitting just five fairways on a course softened by Thursday evening rain. With three runner-up finishes this year but no PGA Tour wins, García goes into the weekend with the opportunity to turn a good year into a special one.

“I need to feel like I played better than I did the last two days,” García said. “I didn’t play badly, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like I was playing better at the British Open and at Bridgestone.”


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