|Published:||Oct 22, 2011 4:47 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 23, 2011 6:30 AM EDT|
CASTELLON, Spain (AP) - Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia shot a 7-under 64 on Saturday to extend his lead to a commanding eight shots after the third round of the Castello Masters.
The hometown favorite overcame a shaky start by making a 5-foot birdie putt at seventh hole before an eagle at the eighth.
The 2008 champion then made five birdies on a flawless back nine for a 19-under total of 194.
"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 the best back-to-back rounds of his career, having shot 63 on Friday.
"I will have to be very focused. Everybody is going to try to attack me and I have to realize that," he said. "There are still a couple of things I would like to improve, but it's obviously getting better and I have more and more confidence."
The 31-year-old Garcia will hope his familiarity with his childhood course can help him protect his substantial lead and end an almost three-year title drought. It would be his ninth European tour win.
"It's just a special feeling. The only other time I get this is in the U.K. when I play the Ryder Cup or the British Open," he said. "The energy of the crowd is just amazing."
Thai golfer Thongchai Jaidee is his closest challenger, with first-round leader Ross McGowan a further stroke behind.
Richie Ramsay of Scotland, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain and Anthony Wall of England are joint fourth at 9 under.
Defending champion Matteo Manassero of Italy shot 71 to sit 14 shots off the pace.