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Garcia simply brilliant at Firestone

(Photo: Asian Tour)
Given the quality of the field and the golf course at this week's WGC Bridgestone Invitational at the Firestone Country Club in Akron in Ohio, the event always promised something special and already it is delivering just that.

Today's second round saw Sergio Garcia establish a three shot lead over Justin Rose with Rory McIlroy and Marc Leishman one shot further back.

It is not only the lead Garcia has established over such a quality field but the manner in which he has done so.

Garcia, who has been in outstanding for this season including runner-up finishes in two of his last three starts, was treading water through his opening nine holes after several missed fairways but when he began his charge on the closing nine holes it was not about to stop.

Garcia birdied eight of his last nine holes including seven in succession from the 12th and finished with a back nine of 27 and a course record round of 61.

Interestingly after a top ten in his very first start in the event in 1999, Garcia has failed to record another top ten at Firestone so he has set himself for his best finish in the event and potentially his first win.

He had recorded a round of 64 in the opening day of the event in 2003 before finishing 30th that year but given the form he is in at present you get the feeling he could well go on and finish this off.

Rose followed up his impressive opening round of 65 with 67 today to stay within striking distance while Leishman gave a further indication of his capacity to handle the big stage with a round of 69 to back up his great opening round of 64.

McIlroy has backed up from his emphatic Open Championship victory with a second round of 64 which was impressive enough but everything on day two paled in comparison with Garcia's brilliance.

Rickie Fowler and Charl Schwartzel are tied for 5th just one shot behind Leishman and McIlroy.

After Leishman, former winner, Adam Scott is the next best of the Australians in the field, his second round of 68 moving him into a share of 12th albeit eight shots from Garcia.

John Senden, Matt Jones and Steve Bowditch are at even par while Jason Day improved in round two but is a long way from contention at 5 over par and in 58th position.

The event will play tomorrow's third round very early in order to get play done hopefully before a storm arrives around midday.

Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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