CASTELLON, Spain (AP) — Sergio Garcia closed in on his first European tour victory in three years at his home course Saturday, shooting a 5-under 66 to lead by four strokes after the third round of the Castello Masters.
The Spaniard has totaled 16-under 197 at Club de Campo Mediterraneo, where he grew up playing golf and where his father, Victor, is the club professional.
“I’m very motivated to win this tournament for a lot of reasons – it’s the European circuit, it’s in Spain, on my course,” said Garcia, who has a sore elbow.
In a group tied for second are England’s David Lynn (68) and Simon Dyson (68), Peter Hedblom of Sweden (68), and first-round leader Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark (70).
“Tomorrow I’ll try to play the same way and stay aggressive,” Garcia said. “I have to play with the same motivation, I’ll have to play well because those behind me are not going to be quiet, it won’t be easy.”
Garcia sank a long birdie putt at the second hole and had four more birdies, including holing a shot from a bunker at No. 8, to make the turn at 5 under. But a poor approach at No. 10 and a wayward tee shot at the next hole brought consecutive bogeys.
Garcia, whose last European win was the 2005 European Masters, collected three birdies before bogeying the 17th.
Richard Finch (71) of England and Stephen Gallacher (65) of Scotland trailed by five strokes, one better than Swedish pair Mikael Lundberg (68) and Jarmo Sandelin (67).