Saturday, 24 June 2017
Sergio Garcia  (European Tour)
Sergio Garcia (European Tour)

Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland both fired rounds of 67 on Saturday to take a share of the lead into the final round of the BMW International Open at Golfclub München Eichenried.

Garcia is playing in his first event on European soil since claiming his maiden Major Championship at the Masters Tournament in April and is looking for his third title of the season.

Bland will be looking for his first European Tour win in his 411th appearance and the duo will go out in the final group on Sunday after reaching 13 under in Munich.

Swede Joakim Lagergren was their nearest challenger at 12 under, two shots clear of Belgian Thomas Detry and Argentinian Andres Romero.

Garcia made seven birdies in his round but it was Bland who produced the fireworks, making a birdie from the water on the 11th and holing out from the fairway for an eagle on the 13th.

"I hit some really good shots out there and I hit a couple of scrappy ones coming in but my short game saved me," he said. "Got my feet wet and holed a second shot into 13. So yeah, kind of ran pretty much into everything.

"The confidence to be fair has been a little fragile recently. I've not been playing that great. But rounds like that, and the two previous rounds, just kind of helps the confidence. So I've just got to go out there tomorrow with the same attitude and if I can keep hitting some good shots, then hopefully I've got a say come tomorrow afternoon.

"You've got to stay aggressive when you can and hopefully take your chances and hopefully that will be good enough."

Garcia hit a ragged tee-shot off the first but played a stunning recovery from the trees to set up an opening birdie before finding the water on the fourth to slip back to eight under.

Bland had bogeyed the second but that proved to be nothing more than a blip as he went birdie-birdie-birdie from the fourth to become the first man this week into double figures.

Garcia took advantage of the par five sixth and when he did the same on the ninth after reaching the green in two, he was in a share of top spot.

The Spaniard then broke clear with birdies on the 11th and 12th but Bland got within one with the up-and-down of the season, playing out of the water on the 11th and holing a 20-footer.

The 44 year old then jumped out into a two-shot lead as he holed out from the fairway on the 13th, spinning his approach into the cup, but Garcia hit a smart approach into the 15th and an excellent tee-shot into the 17th to move alongside him.

"I think it was a good, solid day," said Garcia. "Obviously a couple of little putts there at the end that looked like they were going to go in and didn't but, overall, I felt like I played nicely.

"It's nice but it doesn't mean that it's finished. Still we have a long day tomorrow. We've got to go out there, play well again and see if we can pull it off.

"Try to keep being aggressive like I've been, play as solid as I can, and shoot the best score possible and see if that's good enough."

Lagergren had started the day in a share of the lead but surrendered a bogey after missing the green on the second before bouncing back with birdies on the fifth and ninth. An impressive tee-shot on the 17th and chip on the last then moved him into second on his own.

Romero made a hat-trick of birdies from the third to turn in 33 and had a share of the lead after making gains on the 15th and 16th but dropped a shot on the last after finding the water.

Detry tuned in level par before making back-to-back birdies on the tenth and 11th in a round of 70.

Scott Henry, David Lipsky, Hennie Otto and Renato Paratore were at nine under, a shot clear of 2007 champion Niclas Fasth, Tommy Fleetwood, Rikard Karlberg, Joost Luiten, Brett Rumford and defending champion Henrik Stenson.

On a historic day for the European Tour, 78 players survived the first ever third round cut, with seven players missing out. The event came about after 83 professionals and two amateurs made it through to the weekend.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1ROMERO, AndresARG18-17
T2DETRY, ThomasBEL18-16
T2GARCIA, SergioESP18-16
T2BLAND, RichardENG18-16
5KARLBERG, RikardSWE18-14

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