NORTON — Even with the extra day of rest because of the Friday start to the Deutsche Bank Championship, Sergio Garcia chose to take the week off, saying at The Barclays that he wanted to be fresh for the final two playoff events, then the Ryder Cup.
Garcia had played four consecutive weeks — winning recently at the Wyndham Championship — and was staring at a stretch of eight tournaments in nine weeks if he didn’t create another off week. Unfortunately for local golf fans, that week is now. Garcia had played in four of the past five Deutsche Bank Championships, tying for fifth in 2008, his best showing at TPC Boston.
“It’s a lot of golf right now at this part of the year,” said Luke Donald, ranked No. 2 in the world. “I think Sergio has probably played more than he’s wanted to, hasn’t played as well, but obviously the past couple weeks he’s played a lot better. He’s given himself the chance to afford that week off.”
Donald was asked if it’s a win-win for him, since he won’t have to face a confident Garcia — who followed his win with a tie for third at The Barclays — and then will have a Ryder Cup teammate who should be well-rested.
“He’s playing pretty well, so it’s one less person to worry about,” Donald said. “We all enjoy the Ryder Cup. Sergio obviously has a huge passion for it; he hated not playing for the team a couple of years ago, so he wants to make sure he gives it his best effort.
“Plus, he feels like he’ll still give himself a chance to win the FedEx Cup without playing that one event.”
Toms bows out
Garcia isn’t the only player eligible for the $8 million Deutsche Bank Championship who is choosing not to play. David Toms, No. 89 on the points list, informed tournament officials Monday that he was withdrawing.
Toms is a Louisiana native, and still lives in Shreveport. That area has been bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Isaac, but the reason Toms gave was simply that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Since Toms is outside the top 70, he’ll get the next two tournaments off, as well.
With Garcia and Toms not playing, a field of 98 is expected Friday. There are no alternates this week, since the Deutsche Bank is reserved for only the top 100 players on the FedEx Cup points list.
Anyone wishing to come to Wednesday’s practice rounds will be admitted free, with grounds passes courtesy of Covidien. If you’re hoping to see Tiger Woods or Rickie Fowler, you’ll have to wait until Thursday. They are playing in Notah Begay’s charity event Wednesday in Verona, N.Y. Both will play in Thursday’s pro-am at TPC Boston during the morning session . . . The tournament celebrated Executive Women’s Day Tuesday, with guests participating in a breakfast, course tour, lunch with keynote speeches, and ending with a networking session . . . Masters champion Bubba Watson, US Open winner Webb Simpson, British Open winner Ernie Els, and Keegan Bradley will compete in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, which will be held at Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda Oct. 22-24. Bradley, last year’s Grand Slam winner, takes the place of PGA champion Rory McIlroy, who already had committed to play in the BMW Masters . . . With the Friday start, no spectators, and rainy weather, the course and practice areas were mostly empty Tuesday morning. The weather forecast for the rest of the week is decent, with rain not in the outlook until Sunday and Monday, at a 30 percent chance.