Golf

Sergio Garcia holds halfway lead at BMW Championship in Denver

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Sergio Garcia leads at the halfway stage of the BMW Championship in Denver after shooting an impressive six-under par 64.

The Spaniard heads into the weekend with a one shot lead at Cherry Hills Village ahead of American Ryan Palmer who also carded a second round of 64.

Rory McIlroy is in contention as the world number one sits just one two shots adrift of Garcia after three birdies in his last four holes. He is tied third alongside Billy Horschel.

$10million bonus

The BMW Championship represents the penultimate FedEx Cup play-off event with the top 30 players in the rankings after this weekend progressing to Atlanta next week. The points will then be reset meaning every player has a chance of winning the $10million (£6million) bonus.

Garcia headed into the BMW Championship in second place in the FedEx Cup rankings even though he missed last week's Deutsche Bank Championship.

Garcia form

The 34-year old admitted that he wasn't playing great during the US PGA Championship and the first FedEx Cup tournament, The Barclays, but feels that his game is coming together at just the right time ahead of the Ryder Cup.

"This week, I've hit some good shots but I've hit some that I don't like to hit so I want to kind of build up on this bit of momentum, hopefully throughout the weekend, and make sure that I'm where I need to be for the Ryder Cup," Garcia said. "That's the important thing for me."

A birdie on the second hole got Garcia off to a good start but the seventh hole was the catalyst for the Spaniard.

After his drive found the rough just short of a bunker it didn't look as though Garcia would pick up any shots from the hole. But his 126-yard approach incredibly found the hole earning him a brilliant eagle.

Perfect shot

Garcia admitted that it was a perfect shot, "I was just in the first cut, down-wind, 116 metres to the hole and I hit a hard lob wedge that flew a little bit and came up perfect," he said.

Although he bogeyed the following hole, birdie on 11, 13, 16 and 18 saw him complete his back nine in just 32 strokes.

Palmer managed to emulate Garcia by making eagle on the seventh after he holed his second shot from 46 yards to add to birdies on one, three and five.

Great chance of progressing

A bogey on the tenth threatened to halt his progress but further birdies on 13, 14, 17 and 18 matched Garcia's round and gives him a great chance of progressing to Atlanta.

"I just brought in some confidence knowing I'm playing well," he said. "All that matters is keeping it round there so I have a chance at the weekend.

"To shoot a round like this on Friday is a great feeling."

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Palmer headed into the weekend outside the top 30 of the FedEx Cup rankings and needs a good weekend to ensure he progresses to the Tour Championship.

Touching distance

McIlroy will be pleased with his position going into the final two rounds as he is situated just two shots adrift. A birdie on the second hole was cancelled out with a bogey on hole five. As the Northern Irishman entered the final few holes, it looked a though he would be five shots behind the leader.

But three consecutive birdies on 15, 16 and 17 means that he is a within touching distance of Garcia.

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Golf
Sergio Garcia
Rory McIlroy

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