A rift between Tiger Woods and Sergio
Garcia attracted all the attention on a stormy day at Sawgrass. But
Swedish rookie David Lingmerth quietly went about his business and
wound up atop the leaderboard Saturday in The Players Championship.
Lingmerth finished a wild day with an 8-foot eagle putt on the par-
5 16th and a 10-foot birdie on the island-green 17th to reach 12-
under par when the third round was suspended because of darkness.
It was delayed almost two hours because of threatening storms.
Woods, Garcia and Henrik Stenson - all former Players champions - were two shots behind. Ten players have to return this morning to complete the round.
Jeff Overton is also in the hunt. The Evansville native carded a 3-under 69 to climb into a tie for 12th. He stands at 6-under for the tournament.
The Woods-Garcia relationship already was frosty, and an incident on the par-5 second hole was sure to add another layer of chill.
Garcia was hitting his second shot from the fairway when he was disrupted by a burst of cheers from the large crowd gathered around Woods in the trees. Garcia snapped his head over to the left and glared.
The cheer was for Woods taking a fairway metal from his bag, a risky shot because he had only a 15-foot gap to escape the woods.
During the storm delay, Garcia suggested in a television interview that Woods was the instigator.
"Well, obviously Tiger was on the left and it was my shot to hit," Garcia said. "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 5-wood or a 3-wood and obviously everybody started screaming. So that didn't help very much."
Woods was aware of the comments and said Garcia didn't have his facts straight.
"The marshals, they told me already hit, so I pulled a club and was getting ready to play my shot," Woods said. "And then I hear his comments afterwards, and not real surprising that he's complaining about something."
Asked if they talked it over when play resumed, Woods replied, "We didn't do a lot of talking."
Garcia wound up making a bogey on the second hole to lose the one-shot lead he had at the start of the round. Woods pulled off his shot, and then blasted out of the bunker to about 10 feet and made birdie to take the lead.
Meanwhile, The Players Championship was shaping up to be quite a finish.
Lingmerth, who began his rookie season by losing in a playoff at the Humana Challenge, poured in par putts along the back nine to stay around the leaders, and then he raced by them with his eagle- birdie finish. He returns today to play the 18th hole.
Stenson was the first to reach 12 under when he made a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth.
Originally published by Doug Ferguson, Associated Press.
(c) 2013 Evansville Courier & Press. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.
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