Sparks fly between Woods and Garcia at Players Championship

Swedish rookie Lingmerth also on 11 under entering final round

 Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia stand on the 11th tee during round three of The Players championship at TPC Sawgrass  in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia stand on the 11th tee during round three of The Players championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images


Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods and PGA Tour David Lingmerth will share the lead going into the final round of the Players Championship after the delayed third round was completed at Sawgrass on Sunday morning.

Lingmerth was two shots clear when darkness halted play on Saturday following an earlier delay of almost two hours due to the threat of lightning.

However, the Swede returned to the course at 7.10am on Sunday with just the daunting 18th hole to play and ran up a bogey five to card a 69 and set the clubhouse target on 11 under par.

Garcia bogeyed the 15th when play resumed but then birdied the 16th and 17th and saved par with an excellent pitch from 40 yards short of the green on the last to complete a 72.

Woods carded just his second birdie of the round on the 16th to return a 71 as he seeks a fourth win of the season but only his second as a professional at Sawgrass.

Garcia will partner Lingmerth in the final round with Woods alongside Wittenberg, something Garcia was happy about given the relationship between himself and Woods.

That already cool relationship was strained further on Saturday when Garcia felt he was put off when playing his approach to the second hole by crowd noise caused by Woods preparing for his own shot from the trees.

Woods insisted he had been told by a marshal that Garcia had already played before pulling out a fairway wood from his bag, with the fans cheering an apparent attempt to go for the green on the par five.

Speaking today, Garcia was typically forthright.

“He’s not my favourite guy to play with. He’s not the nicest guy on Tour. So it will good for both us not to play together again,” Garcia told reporters.

“We don’t like each other. It doesn’t take a rocket engineer to figure that out.

“He is who he is. I am who I am. It’s best we’re not playing together again. I’m in a good position. It was nice to finish the way I did, with two birdies and a great save on the last hole. Hopefully, I will get a good feeling this afternoon and see how it goes.”

Casey Wittenberg is alongside and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, the 2009 champion, and Ryan Palmer on 10 under, with 49-year-old Jeff Maggert another stroke back after a 66 which was completed on Saturday.

England’s David Lynn is three off the pacesetters on eight under with compatriot Lee Westwood a shot behind after a 74 that included an air-shot on his opening hole.

World number two Rory McIlroy will start the final round six shots off the leaders after carding a 73 in his third round on Saturday night. He tees off just after 5.30pm alongside Daniel Summerhays.

Pádraig Harrington is towards the end of the leaderboard on three over after a third round 75.

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