Garcia closing in

  • Last Updated: August 26 2012, 1:40 BST

Spain's Sergio Garcia moved two shots clear with a round to play at The Barclays in Farmingdale as he chased back-to-back titles on the PGA Tour.

Garcia: Two clear with a round to go

The 32-year-old won last week's Wyndham Championships to book himself in for Ryder Cup duty at Medinah next month.

And he has carried momentum from that success into this week, with a third sub-70 round giving him an outstanding chanceon Sunday.

Garcia followed rounds of 66 and 68 with one of 69, which took him two ahead of halfway leader Nick Watney and three clear of Watney's fellow American Kevin Stadler whose six-under-par 65 was the lowest score of the day.

While Garcia led on 10-under-par 203, the immediate threat posed by Watney and Stadler may not prove the main obstacle over the closing 18 holes.

Fourth place was shared by Americans Brandt Snedeker and Bob Estes, after rounds of 68 and 72 respectively put them six under.

And further down the field there was the sight of a charging Phil Mickelson who was one of three - William McGirt and Tim Clark the others - to shoot 67 and jump from par to four under for a share of 10th place.

Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen both had rounds of three-under 68 to join what was an eight-player bunch on four under. Tiger Woods was among them, but he had taken a wrong turn on moving day, a one-over 72 containing four three-putts not what the former world number one required.

Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald both nudged up to two under after posting rounds of 69, while Vijay Singh was alongside them on the same score after a 76 undid his fine efforts on Thursday and Friday.

Garcia, who had not won on the PGA Tour since 2008 before this month, actually wrapped up his Wyndham Championship title on Monday, after rain forced the tournament into an extra day.

He won back-to-back titles on the European Tour last October, at the Castello Masters and Andalucia Masters, so knows it can be done.

But as he completed another impressive round, the three-time major championship runner-up preferred to rest up rather than focus too keenly on the challenge that lies ahead.

"At the moment, I want to go back to the hotel, take a nice shower, and relax," he said. "I don't want to think about tomorrow at all.

"There will be plenty of thinking tomorrow. So I just want to go out there and try to play the way I've been playing, try to believe in what I'm doing as much as I've been doing, and if I manage to win, that will be great.

"If I don't, it will still be great. I'll be giving it my best effort, so we'll see."

Watney knows he will have the form player on tour alongside him when he goes out tomorrow.

"I'm just going to need to hang around," Watney said. "If Sergio goes out and shoots four or five under, you've just got to tip your hat.

"But I'm super excited to be in the last group."

Woods is not giving up on the title yet, despite his putting woes on greens which were particularly fast.

"Trust me, I was certainly frustrated," Woods said. "I kept telling myself I'm right in the ball game and no one was going anywhere. Nobody was running away with it."

He was determined to stay in the leading pack so to fall away was a frustration.

"At one point, I was; I was three back of the lead," Woods said. "Unfortunately I didn't stay there but hopefully tomorrow I can put it together."

Collated third-round scores (USA unless stated, par 71):

203 Sergio Garcia (Spa) 66 68 69

205 Nick Watney 65 69 71

206 Kevin Stadler 72 69 65

207 Bob Estes 69 66 72, Brandt Snedeker 70 69 68

208 John Senden (Aus) 68 68 72, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 70 70 68, Brian Harman 65 75 68, Ryan Moore 69 69 70

209 Phil Mickelson 68 74 67, Tiger Woods 68 69 72, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 71 69 69, Tom Gillis 69 72 68, Louis Oosthuizen (Rsa) 70 71 68, Tim Clark (Rsa) 70 72 67, William McGirt 68 74 67, Lee Westwood (Eng) 69 72 68

210 Dustin Johnson 67 71 72, David Hearn (Can) 70 73 67, Bubba Watson 70 70 70, Harris English 70 69 71

211 Vijay Singh (Fij) 68 67 76, Rory McIlroy (NIrl) 69 73 69, Ryan Palmer 75 68 68, Geoff Ogilvy (Aus) 70 72 69, Luke Donald (Eng) 68 74 69

212 Ernie Els (Rsa) 68 72 72, Roberto Castro 76 67 69, Rickie Fowler 67 70 75, Carl Pettersson (Swe) 73 66 73, Josh Teater 72 71 69

213 Steve Stricker 69 71 73, Pat Perez 66 70 77, Adam Scott (Aus) 70 69 74, Scott Stallings 72 70 71, Greg Owen (Eng) 68 73 72, Matt Kuchar 72 68 73, Jonas Blixt (Swe) 67 73 73, Ricky Barnes 71 72 70, J.B. Holmes 71 69 73, Bo Van Pelt 70 69 74, Tommy Gainey 70 70 73

214 Bud Cauley 71 71 72, Bryce Molder 70 73 71, Billy Mayfair 71 72 71, Gary Christian (Eng) 66 71 77, Graham Delaet (Can) 75 67 72, George McNeill 67 76 71, Troy Kelly 74 66 74, Jimmy Walker 66 74 74, John Huh (Kor) 70 67 77, Padraig Harrington (Irl) 64 75 75

215 Chris Kirk 68 71 76, John Rollins 72 69 74, Zach Johnson 68 75 72, Brian Gay 71 72 72, Martin Laird (Sco) 70 68 77, Ian Poulter (Eng) 68 71 76

216 Michael Thompson 71 68 77, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 75 66 75, Sean O'Hair 71 72 73, Henrik Stenson (Swe) 73 65 78

217 Jeff Maggert 69 74 74, Rodney Pampling (Aus) 70 73 74, Troy Matteson 68 73 76, Charles Howell III 71 69 77, Jason Day (Aus) 70 70 77, Kevin Streelman 69 72 76

218 Justin Rose (Eng) 67 72 79, Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 71 68 79, Robert Garrigus 73 68 77, K J Choi (Kor) 67 71 80, James Driscoll 73 70 75, Blake Adams 71 69 78

220 Seung-yul Noh (Kor) 71 71 78