Deutsche Bank Championship 2013: Young Guns Who Can Confirm Star Status with Win
Thanks to consecutive rounds of 65 and 64 in Norton, Mass., Sergio Garcia has emerged as the leader through two rounds of the 2013 Deutsche Bank Championship with a 13 under-par total.
Formerly nicknamed "El Nino" and considered to be the next young superstar, the Spaniard's career hasn't quite panned out as expected. Still without a major title at age 33, his career could be bolstered significantly if he emerges with the FedEx Cup trophy.
This is only the second event of the playoffs, though, and Garcia, along with golf's best players, have a long way to go before that is decided.
With plenty of golf still to be played at TPC Boston alone, there are a slew of 20-somethings in contention who have shown similar promise to what Garcia once flashed in his earlier years. If any of them come away with a win, it would solidify their statuses as multiple tour winners.
Here is a closer look at the exciting trio, with their total scores in relation to par in parentheses.
Jordan Spieth (-9)
The 20-year-old is already one of the better ball-strikers on tour, so when his putter is working, the sky is the limit.
Spieth is improving that part of his game, too, with a forward-press just before impact and a cross-handed grip. It remains to be seen if he'll stick with that long term, though it did seem to be working on Saturday, especially on the above 21-footer for birdie on the par-four 14th.
A prior win in 2013 at the John Deere Classic made Spieth eligible for the FedEx Cup playoffs in the first place. He has taken full advantage of every opportunity, but even this rapid of an ascent to stardom was hard to see coming.
Among the premium young talent inhabiting the game currently, the greatness Spieth has flashed seems to place him a cut above the rest.
If his iron play rebounds from hitting just eight of 18 greens in regulation in Round 2, look for Spieth to vault himself into prominent contention for the FedEx Cup trophy.
Harris English (-9)
The winner of this year's FedEx St. Jude Classic is a towering presence at 6'3" with a powerful move through the ball, but his touch on the greens is what's driving his evolution as a player.
English hasn't necessarily handled the success since his win very well, but he's making up for it this week after a missed cut at The Barclays. He entered this week 21st on tour in total putting, and it's showing thus far.
With 14 birdies through two rounds in Norton, the 24-year-old is tied for second in the field in circles on the scorecard.
A modest world ranking of No. 74 has English flying a bit below the radar in terms of golf's youngsters to watch. It would be unwise to sleep on the former University of Georgia star, who was a four-time All-American in college and is just getting his feet wet in the pros.
By winning the Deutsche Bank Championship, his name would instantly catapult up the world rankings and into the conversation to rival Spieth as American golf's next great, young hope.
Jason Day (-8)
Close calls at the major championships have raised Day's profile considerably. What's frustrating is that he hasn't been able to rise to the occasion at regular events often enough.
Who is likeliest to win his second PGA Tour event by the end of the playoffs?
With his powerful long game and six top-10 finishes this season, it seems only a matter of time before Day explodes and truly realizes his potential.
Putting has often been a strength for Day, but this week he's tied for 59th in the field in putts per GIR.
The course management and focus is unquestionably there for the smooth-swinging, cool-as-a-cucumber Aussie. All that's left to figure out is how to put together a complete performance for four rounds.
Whenever he does that consistently—and it's feasible he could at this venue that yields so many birdies—Day has all the promise to be a multiple major champion and a double-digit tournament winner.
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