Golf: Sergio Garcia doesn’t know anything about being in a zone. He had no trouble identifying the best round of his career.
Garcia one-putted the final 11 holes and made birdies on his last seven holes Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, to tie the course record at Firestone with a 9-under-par 61 and take a three-shot lead.
He had a birdie putt on every hole on the back nine, missing only a 15-footer from the fringe at No. 11. Garcia shot 27 on the back nine, a course record.
It matched the tournament record held by Tiger Woods, who shot 61 in 2000 and 2013, and Jose Maria Olazabal, who shot his 61 in 1990. Woods went on to win by 11 shots in 2000 and seven shots last year. Olazabal won by 12 in the World Series of Golf.
Garcia was at 11-under 129, three shots clear of Justin Rose (67). British Open champion Rory McIlroy birdied his last two holes for a 64 and joined Marc Leishman (67) four shots out of the lead.
Garcia’s round was one of three sensational efforts in golf on Friday: Brady Schnell shot a 13-under 59 in the Canadian Tour’s ATB Financial Classic in Calgary, Alberta, holing out from 122 yards for eagle on his last hole; and Fabian Gomez shot a 10-under 60 in the Web.com Tour’s Stonebrae Classic, missing a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole in Hayward, California.
• Qualifier leads 3M: Tuesday qualifier Marco Dawson shot a 9-under 63 to take the lead in the Champions Tour’s 3M Championship in Blaine, Minnesota, leaving Bernhard Langer a stroke back five days after the German star’s record-breaking victory in the Senior British Open.
Dawson, playing the back nine first at TPC Twin Cities, birdied three of his first four holes and chipped in for eagle on No. 18. After a birdie on the par-5 third hole, he birdied three of his final four holes.
Langer, the two-time 3M champion who won by a tour-record 13 strokes Sunday at Royal Porthcawl, was tied for second with Jeff Maggert, Rocco Mediate and Vijay Singh.
• PGA Tour rebuts report: The PGA Tour rebutted a published report Friday that Dustin Johnson has been suspended for failing a drug test.
Johnson said in a vague statement issued by his management company that he would take a leave of absence effective immediately to seek professional help for “personal challenges.”
Golf.com reported Friday that the tour suspended Johnson for six months. It cited an unidentified source as saying Johnson failed a drug test for the third time.
“With regards to media reports that Dustin Johnson has been suspended by the PGA Tour, this is to clarify that Mr. Johnson has taken a voluntary leave of absence and is not under a suspension from the PGA Tour,” the tour’s statement said.
Parker signs extension with San Antonio Spurs
NBA: The San Antonio Spurs have signed point guard Tony Parker to a multi-year contract extension.
Parker averaged 16.7 points and 5.7 assists in 29 minutes per game last season to help the Spurs to the franchise’s fifth NBA title.
• Ex-Griz signs with Raptors: Former Montana Grizzlies point guard Will Cherry has agreed to a two-year deal with the Toronto Raptors.
Cherry played for the Canton Charge in the NBA Developmental League during the 2013-14 season, averaging 11.6 points and nearly four rebounds per game.
Bolt a big hit at Scotland meet
Track and field: If Scots were offended by Usain Bolt they didn’t show it on Friday as the Jamaican sprint star made his Commonwealth Games debut in Glasgow, Scotland.
Despite a newspaper claiming that he was disparaging about Glasgow, Bolt’s introduction to a 40,000-plus crowd at Hampden Park was greeted with a roar of cheers.
And Bolt gave them what they wanted to see, taking the baton off Nickel Ashmeade to anchor Jamaica’s 4x100-meter team to a comfortable win in its heat as the favorite advanced to today’s final in 38.99 seconds.
UCLA will replace Pauley Pavilion floor
Miscellany: The famed hardwood court at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion will be replaced by the end of October because of damage caused when 20 million gallons of water cascaded onto campus from a broken water main, the school announced Friday.
• Young will face Raonic: Donald Young reached his first ATP semifinal in three years by beating seventh-seeded Kevin Anderson 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-2 on Friday at the Citi Open in Washington.
Young, an American ranked 73rd, will face No. 2 Milos Raonic of Canada in the semifinals today.
• Petkovic beats one Williams, will face other today: Serena Williams roared back after falling behind in the third set to beat Ana Ivanovic 2-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, Calif.
Andrea Petkovic ended Venus Williams’ run in the tournament, beating the former top-ranked player 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 in the quarterfinals.
She gets a shot at Serena Williams this afternoon.
• Del Mar reduces racing: Deaths and injuries to horses on Del Mar’s new turf course has led the track north of San Diego to reduce racing on the surface by about one-third for the rest of the summer meet that ends Sept. 3.
Nine horse have died since the summer meet began July 16.