SINGAPORE (AP) — Sergio Garcia recalled one of his happy times at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore to shoot a 7-under 64 and to move into a share of the second-round lead with Talor Gooch at the LIV Singapore tournament.
Garcia and Gooch, who birdied his last two holes for a 65, had 36-hole totals of 13-under 129.
Gooch won last week’s LIV tournament at Adelaide, Australia and was the first-round leader by a stroke in Singapore after a 64.
Brooks Koepka (65 Saturday) was in third place, a stroke behind Garcia and Gooch. British Open champion Cameron Smith was in a three-way tied for fourth place after a 66 and two behind the leaders.
Phil Mickelson, who shot a second straight 66, was in seventh place and three strokes behind. Mickelson birdied four of his first five holes but had two late bogeys.
Garcia, who began his round on the first hole with Gooch in the shotgun-start format, birdied three of his final four holes.
Garcia won the Singapore Open at Sentosa in 2018 and has played bogey-free golf in the first 36 holes this week. On Saturday, he hit all 18 greens in regulation.
“Some of the memories definitely help,” Garcia said. “But at the end of the day, I think that every tournament is a different story. … It definitely makes a little bit of difference but obviously you know that if you want to contend . . . you have to raise your level.”
For Gooch, it’s the eighth time he’s either led or shared a lead after an LIV round, the most of any player. He’s now led or shared the lead in the last five rounds.
“Nothing can replace experience,” Gooch said. “The more that I can put myself in this position, the more comfortable I’m going to get.”
Gooch and Garcia were in a group Saturday that also included Smith. The trio combined to shoot 18 under.
“We’ve been paired together a bunch here in the last year and it was fun out there playing with Sergio,” Gooch said. “The more you play with these guys and the more you feel like you can compete and beat these guys, the more comfortable you’re going to get.”
Gooch opened with a pair of 10-under 62s while winning at The Grange last week at Adelaide. He continued his strong play Saturday with six birdies.
“There’s no pixie dust I’ve thrown on the clubs the last couple weeks,” Gooch said after his opening round. “It’s just the game comes and goes in waves, and hopefully we can continue to ride this wave for as long as we can and play a bunch of good golf.”
The first round was delayed for more than two hours after 12 holes due to severe weather in the area. With stormy weather again in the forecast for the weekend, the shotgun start for the final two rounds was moved up — the second round started at 8:15 a.m. local time while Sunday’s round is scheduled to begin at about the same time.
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