Garcia surges into lead in Spain

Sergio Garcia of Spain greets the gallery on the second hole during the third round of the...

Sergio Garcia of Spain greets the gallery on the second hole during the third round of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters golf tournament in Sotogrande, southern Spain, October 29, 2011. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

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, Last Updated: 2:20 PM ET

Sotogrande, Spain - Sergio Garcia will look to make it two in a row for the first time in his career.

Garcia carded a four-under 67 Saturday to grab a two-stroke lead after three rounds of the Andalucia Masters.

The Spaniard, who won on his home course last week, completed 54 holes at Valderrama at six-under-par 207.

Christian Nilsson matched the low round of the week with his six-under 65 in round three. That helped him jump into a share of second place at minus-four. He was joined there by Miguel Angel Jimenez, who shot a 68 while playing alongside Garcia.

Richie Ramsay, who led after the first two rounds, stumbled to a two-over 73 and slid into fourth place at three-under-par 210. They are the only four players under par after three rounds.

Garcia got up and down for birdie on the par-five fourth to get his round going. He gave that stroke right back with a bogey on the fifth, but kicked in a short birdie effort on No. 6 to move back to three-under.

After a par on No. 7, Garcia birdied the eighth, but was still one behind Ramsay. The Scotsman birdied the third, but later dropped a shot on the seventh.

Ramsay tripped to a bogey on the ninth and that dropped him into a share of first with Garcia at minus-four. Garcia rolled in a birdie try at the 10th to move out in front.

However, he could only par the par-five 11th and that allowed Jimenez to join his countryman at five-under. Jimenez, who holed out for eagle on the par-five fourth, tapped in a short eagle putt on the 11th to jump to minus-five.

Garcia reclaimed the lead with an 18-foot birdie effort at the 13th. Garcia parred his next three holes, and as he did that, Jimenez tripped to a bogey at the 15th to slip to four-under.

Ramsay was fighting a balky driver on the back nine, but managed to par the first six holes of the second nine.

Garcia found a fairway bunker off the tee at 17. He tried to lay up with his second, but hit it too far and his ball stopped inside a hazard, and against a rock.

After taking off his shoes and rolling up his pants, Garcia blasted a shot into the right rough from inside the hazard. He chipped on, then two-putted for bogey.

"It was obviously was risky, but I liked my chances of getting up and down better from right of the green than the drop zone," Garcia admitted.

In the meantime, Ramsay had converted a seven-foot birdie chance on the 16th to join Garcia at five-under.

Garcia responded in fine fashion as he stuffed his approach at the par-four closing hole within two feet. He knocked that in for birdie to end at minus- six.

Ramsay's driver continued to be a problem. He hit it left off the tee at 17 and 18. Ramsay pitched back to the fairway at 17, then found a bunker over the green with his third. It took him three more to get in the hole, and that bogey dropped him to minus-four.

Another poor drive at the last, along with a poor chip-out attempt, led to a closing bogey, which dropped Ramsay three back with one round to go.

NOTES: If Garcia hangs on for the win, it will be his fifth in Spain and he'll qualify for next week's WGC - HSBC Champions, which he won in 2008...Oliver Wilson had a hole-in-one on the par-three 12th, but still stumbled to a one- over 72...Defending champion Graeme McDowell faltered to a 10-over 81 and fell 30 places into a tie for 51st...After there were just 14 sub-par rounds through two days, there were 15 such rounds on Saturday.


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