Garcia extends lead to eight at Castello Masters

Sergio Garcia celebrates a putt during the third round of the Castello Masters.
Sergio Garcia celebrates a putt during the third round of the Castello Masters. ( Getty Images )

Saturday, October 22, 2011

CASTELLON, Spain – Sergio Garcia shot a 7-under 64 Saturday to extend his lead to a commanding eight shots after the third round of the Castello Masters.

The Spaniard overcame a shaky start by making a 5-foot birdie putt at the seventh hole before an eagle at the eighth. Garcia, the 2008 Castello champion, made five birdies on a flawless back nine for a 19-under 194 total.

“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 his best back-to-back rounds after a 63 Friday.

Thongchai Jaidee shot a 66 and was Garcia's closest challenger, with first-round leader Ross McGowan (69) another stroke behind.

Defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy shot a 71 to trail Garcia by 14 strokes.

The 31-year-old Garcia hopes his familiarity with his childhood course can help him protect his lead and end an almost three-year title drought. It would be his ninth European Tour victory.

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