Thailand Golf Championship: Sergio Garcia shoots 65 to roar ino four-shot lead
Last Updated: 14/12/13 12:39pm
Sergio Garcia: On target for first win of 2013
Sergio Garcia fired a superb seven-under 65 to kick four shots clear of the field after the third round of the Thailand Golf Championship.
Tied for the lead with US Open champion Justin Rose at start of play, the Spaniard started steadily but came home in five-under 31 at the Amata Spring Country Club to post 18-under and take control of the tournament.
Third round leaderboard
(GB & Ire unless stated)
-18 S Garcia (Spa)
-14 H Stenson (Swe)
-14 A Lahiri (Ind)
-13 J Rose
-12 A Levy (Fra)
With Rose only managing a steady two-under 70, Garcia's nearest rivals are now world number three Henrik Stenson and India's Anirban Lahiri on 14-under.
Swede Stenson, the FedEx Cup and Race To Dubai winner, matched Garcia's 65 to leap from tied seventh to tied second while Lahiri added a 67 to Friday's best-of-the-day 64.
Frenchman Alexander Levy is alone in fifth but has a daunting seven shots to make up on Garcia.
Seeking his first win of 2013, Garcia birdied the par five second before making his only blemish of the day, a bogey five at the fourth.
Back-to-back birdies at six and seven gave him a one-shot lead over Rose at the turn and it stayed that way when both birdied the par five 11th.
However, a scintillating burst from Garcia saw him build a big cushion going into the final day.
A birdie at 13 took him to 15-under before a lovely pitch to three feet set up another at 15.
The 33-year-old fired a superb approach to 16 before missing a five footer for his birdie three but made amends with two more glorious iron shots at 17 and 18.
He converted both from around eight feet, clenching his fist as he rolled in his birdie at the last to increase his lead to four shots.
Stenson, meanwhile, raced out of the blocks with a hat-trick of birdies and made further gains at 7, 11, 12 and 17.
Rose was only three back playing the last but took three from the edge of the green and suddenly fell five back as Garcia made birdie.
Defending champion Charl Schwartzel is nine shots back in tied 11th after a 67 while Rickie Fowler is eight off the pace after a 71.