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Players Championship: David Lingmerth leads after weather-affected third day

Last Updated: 12/05/13 12:32pm

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David Lingmerth: Took a shock lead thanks to late eagle and birdie

David Lingmerth: Took a shock lead thanks to late eagle and birdie

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David Lingmerth surged into a surprise lead as the third day of the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass was shortened by adverse weather.

The Swede went through 17 holes in 12-under par, his superb putting propelling him to the top of the leaderboard thanks to an eagle and a birdie on the last two holes he played.

The threat of lightning had caused the action to be held up earlier in the day and although the players eventually got back out on course, fading light meant the round could not be completed.

Lingmerth's compatriot Henrik Stenson finished the day two shots back in a tie for second with Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia, neither of whom made a real move for victory despite playing together in the final pair.

Third-round leaderboard

(US unless stated, number of completed holes in brackets)

-12 D Lingmerth (Swe) (17)
-10 H Stenson (Swe) (16)
-10 S Garcia (Spa) (14)
-10 T Woods (14)
-9 J Maggert (18)
-9 C Wittenberg (17)
-9 R Palmer (16)

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In the absence of any particularly spectacular play, attention instead focused on some apparent animosity between the two following an incident at the second hole.

Garcia had found the middle of the fairway while Woods pulled his tee shot into the trees, but the Spaniard then sliced his second shot wildly before looking around as if he had been disturbed by noise from the gallery.

Distraction

And during the delay of almost two hours, Garcia claimed that the distraction had been triggered by Woods taking clubs from his back during the 33-year-old's backswing.

Garcia told NBC: "Well, obviously Tiger was on the left and it was my shot to hit. He moved all of the crowd that he needed to move, I waited for that.

"I wouldn't say that he didn't see that I was ready, but you do have a feel when the other guy is going to hit and right as I was in the top of the backswing, I think he must have pulled like a five-wood or a three-wood and obviously everybody started screaming.

"So that didn't help very much. But it was unfortunate because - I mean I might have hit it there if nothing happens, you never know - but if I hit a good shot there and maybe make birdie, it gets my day started in a bit of a different way."

Garcia and Woods were one over and evens for the day respectively through 14 holes to finish on ten under, one shot ahead of American trio Jeff Maggert, Casey Wittenberg and Ryan Palmer.

Englishman David Lynn was tied for eighth on eight under, his effort of 68 being two shots adrift of Maggert's 66 among Saturday's completed rounds.

Lee Westwood endured a nightmare start and was three-over for the day after 15 holes, while Rory McIlroy could only manage a round of 73.

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