It was a back-and-forth duel as entertaining as anything you’ll see on a golf course. Nick Watney and Sergio Garcia traded proverbial jabs up and down Saturday afternoon.
The duo was . The TV crews and crowds focused in on Woods. But it was Watney and Garcia who finished the Second Round of The Barclays Tournament in a first-place tie at 8-under-par.
The crowds continued to swarm Woods around and ultimately off the Bethpage Black course Saturday, but those who lingered witnessed two golfers at the top of their game battle to the finish.
Garcia shook off three early bogeys and hung tough as Watney faltered on the back nine. Coming off an 18-under victory at the Wyndham Championship last weekend in Greensboro, N.C., Garcia finished the Third Round with a 2-under 69 and firmly in first place at 10-under for the tournament.
“I don’t want to think about tomorrow at all,” said Garcia, who will be paired with Watney once more for the Final Round. “There will be plenty of thinking tomorrow.”
Watney thrilled the crowd at No. 17 by burying a 35-footer, but gave it up with a bogey on 18 to finish two back at 8-under.
Woods shot a 1-over 72 and is in a tenth-place tie, six back of the lead. He also singled out the ever-changing course conditions, something echoed by fellow golfers.
“I played the way I needed to play,” Woods said. “I played a beautiful round of golf. Unfortunately, didn’t clean up on the greens. I’ve never seen greens change like this from what they were yesterday to today. The grass even seems slippery.”
This is Garcia’s tournament to lose. The 32-year-old Spaniard won The Barclays twice before, in 2001 and ’04. And he’s looking to become the first player to win back-to-back PGA Tour events since Woods in 2009.
The tees off at 7:45 a.m. Sunday as 75 players battle for positioning in the FedEx Cup standings.
The Barclays Tournament
Final Round: Golfer pairings Sunday
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