Golf notes: Castro ready for prime time

Last week’s performance at the PGA Championship proved that Roberto Castro is ready to play on the big stage.

The Georgia Tech grad was the top local finisher at Oak Hill, tying for 12th at 2-under 278. Castro exhibited the consistent play for which he’s become known with rounds of 68-69-71-70. It’s another step in his maturation process.

“When you first get on Tour, you don’t know what it’s going to be like,” Castro said. “You wonder, if I play good, can I make the cut? Then it’s if you play good and lead after the first round. At AT&T (National, where he was runner-up), it was, what if I play good for four days? I could have a chance to win.

“Now I know if I play my game during a major and things go my way, I’ll have a chance.”

It was only the second appearance in a major for Castro, who missed the cut in the 2012 U.S. Open. He was able to play to his strengths at Oak Hill, which required accuracy and patience. Like most major championships, consistency was rewarded.

“I’m good at hanging around,” Castro said. “I’m good on hard golf courses. I saw a quote from Lee Trevino where he said, ‘As long as there’s long rough, you can be competitive if you hit it in the middle of the fairway.’ That’s what I tried to do.”

Castro has played well over the last six weeks. After finishing second at the AT&T, he tied for sixth at the Canadian Open. His performance at the PGA boosted his earnings this year to $1.5 million and lifted him to 38th on the FedEx Cup points list.

“I’m trying to get points for the playoffs,” he said. “That last one (the Tour Championship at East Lake) is in a familiar place. It would be great to play there. That’s what we’ve been building toward all year and I hope to do some something good.”

PGA leftovers: No third-round leader won any of the majors in 2013. Only four 54-hole leaders in the last 20 majors have gone on to win and three of those had a lead of three shots or better. Two players had three top-10s on the majors: Adam Scott (won Masters, tied for third at British Open, tied for fifth at PGA) and Jason Day (third at Masters, tied for second U.S. Open, tied for eighth at PGA). … None of the 20 club pros made the cut, including Albany's Sonny Skinner, 53, who said he was easily distracted, even though it was his third PGA appearance. "I'd catch myself daydreaming, just standing there looking over a sea of people and listening to the roars go up. I'm saying, 'Was that (Phil) Mickelson? Was that (Adam) Scott? Who was that?' All of a sudden, I haven't even gotten my yardage. I thoroughly enjoyed it." …

On the Tour: Several big names, including Sea Island's Davis Love III, are outside the top 125 and could miss the FedEx Cup playoffs if they don't make up ground at this week's Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, the final regular-season event on the PGA Tour. Love is No. 160 and almost needs a victory to get in the playoffs. Others on the outside include Padraig Harrington, Ben Crane, Bud Cauley, Chad Campbell and Woody Austin. Those who don't make the playoffs won't have another opportunity to play until the Frys.com Open that opens the reshaped 2013-14 season on Oct. 7-13.

Etc.: Anthony Miccaglia, a junior at Oglethorpe, didn't make it to match play at the U.S. Amateur, but he did have a hole-in-one on the 16th hole at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass. … Mark Burden of Atlanta, Curt Knorr of Dunwoody, Bill Leonard of Dallas tied for medalist at the qualifier for the U.S. Senior Amateur at the Brickyard at Riverside in Macon. Jack Hall of Sea Island and Gay McMichael grabbed the other two spots. The championship will be played Sept. 22-23 at Wade Hampton Golf Club in Cashiers, N.C. … Changes: Derek Lafferty is the new golf professional at the Club at River Forest and Louis McHughes is the new golf professional at the Coweta Club. … The Georgia Club has been ranked No. 25 on the Top 100 list of all-around best courses in America by GolfNow.com.