Golf

Garcia extends lead at Castello Masters

Sergio Garcia (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Sergio Garcia celebrates an eagle putt during the third round.
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CASTELLON, Spain (AP)

Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia shot a 7-under 64 on Saturday to extend his lead to a commanding eight shots after the third round of the Castello Masters.

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The hometown favorite overcame a shaky start by making a 5-foot birdie putt at seventh hole before an eagle at the eighth.

The 2008 champion then made five birdies on a flawless back nine for a 19-under total of 194.

''It's well set up, but it's not over. Anybody can shoot a round like I did the last couple of days,'' Garcia said after completing the best back-to-back rounds of his career, having shot 63 on Friday.

''I will have to be very focused. Everybody is going to try to attack me and I have to realize that,'' he said. ''There are still a couple of things I would like to improve, but it's obviously getting better and I have more and more confidence.''

The 31-year-old Garcia will hope his familiarity with his childhood course can help him protect his substantial lead and end an almost three-year title drought. It would be his ninth European tour win.

''It's just a special feeling. The only other time I get this is in the U.K. when I play the Ryder Cup or the British Open,'' he said. ''The energy of the crowd is just amazing.''

Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee is his closest challenger, with first-round leader Ross McGowan a further stroke behind.

Richie Ramsay of Scotland, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Anthony Wall of England are joint fourth at 9 under.

Defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy shot 71 to sit 14 shots off the pace.

Tagged: Sergio Garcia

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