PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLA. (AP) - Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia are part of a three-way tie for the lead at The Players Championship, both going after golf’s richest prize without the pleasure of being in the same group for the final round at the TPC Sawgrass.
Woods finally made another birdie and finished off the third round Sunday morning with a 1-under 71. Garcia had two bogeys, a great chip to make birdie and another superb chip to save par on the 18th hole for a 72.
David Lingmerth, a 25-year-old rookie from Sweden who had a two-shot lead when play resumed, made bogey from the trees on the 18th hole for a 3-under 69.
They were at 11-under 205, one shot clear of Henrik Stenson of Sweden (71), Ryan Palmer and Casey Wittenberg, who birdied his last three holes for a 70. Wittenberg only played the 18th hole Sunday morning to finish his round.
Even though Woods tapped in for par before Garcia made his 4-foot par putt, Garcia joined Lingmerth in the final group. When two players in the same pairing are tied after the round, the player who was first to hit when the full round began is listed first. That put Garcia, who had a one-shot lead going into the third round, in the final group.
Woods figured they would play together in threesomes because of the rain delay _ it will be twosomes, instead _ and he said it didn’t matter who he played with on Sunday afternoon.
“I’m tied for the lead, so I’m right there,” he said.
Woods is dangerous from that spot. His record on the PGA Tour is 52-4 when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
Public tension is rare in golf, though it was on full display when Garcia sat before a television camera during a storm delay on Saturday. The incident took root on the par-5 second hole when Garcia played his second shot from the fairway and hit it well right into trouble, leading to bogey. He heard a burst of cheers from the fans gathered around Woods in the trees, reacting to Woods taking out a 5-wood to play a high-risk shot.
“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,” Garcia said on TV during the delay. “So that didn’t help very much.”
“The marshals, they told me he 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.”
They had a frosty relationship to begin with, and that only added another layer of ice.