Sergio Garcia’s top form showed little sign of waning ahead of next month’s Ryder Cup as the Spaniard moved into a share of the halfway lead at The Barclays.
Last week’s Wyndham Championship winner carded a second round 68 to join Nick Watney on eight under par at Bethpage, New York.
Starting on the back nine, Garcia turned one under then picked up further shots at the second, fourth and fifth, with only a bogey at the third blemishing his scorecard.
Asked if there was anything about his current game he found pleasing, Garcia said: "I think I'm pretty much happy with everything that is going on."
Despite his good position in the first of the FedEx Cup play-offs, Garcia has decided not to play in next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship after putting everything into qualifying for the European Team and with The Ryder Cup now on the horizon.
“With the schedules that are coming, I have to think that I have a chance at getting to the TOUR Championship, so having to play six weeks in a row and then one week off and then the TOUR Championship and the Ryder Cup is just too much,” he said.
“Everybody knows how important the Ryder Cup is for me, and I want to be fully fit there.
“I want to be feeling strong so I can help my team, and as much as it hurts, I'm going to be disappointed, but unfortunately I'm not going to be able to play next week. I need to take a week off somewhere, and unfortunately that's the only one that I can think of.”
Garcia’s compared his current good run of form to that which brought him titles in successive weeks in the Castelló Masters and Andalucia Masters on The European Tour at the end of last year.
“Not only that, I played very well at the US Open last year, then I went to Germany and almost won there,” he said. “Then I played nicely at The Open. I had a good PGA, where I finished 12th I think I made double on the last and I finished 12th. And then I had a good run at the end of the year in Europe.”
Asked what he was doing better, it was simply “a bit of everything”.
“Obviously we know how much confidence helps in this game,” he said. “But it's feeling better out there, feeling more comfortable with what I'm doing, being able to more or less do the right things. Getting a few breaks my way obviously helps. But overall I think if you add all those things up, it helps.”
Fijian Vijay Singh and Bob Estes are one back, with Scot Martin Laird and Swede Henrik Stenson tied for 11th on four under.
First round leader Padraig Harrington could only manage a 75 after his sparkling opening 64, and the Irishman now faces an uphill task over the weekend to impress European Captain José María Olazábal enough to earn one of the two wildcards to be assigned on Monday.
American Watney is also in need of a wildcard if he is to appear at Medinah, in his case from US Captain Davis Love III, and had an eagle in his round of 69 which also featured four birdies and four bogeys.
Asked about his Cup prospects, Watney said: "It's very cliche, but I really can't control it, and I have so much work to do this weekend that if by some chance I would be in that conversation Sunday night, then great. But as of right now, it isn't really an issue."