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Golf: Sergio on the prowl

Sergio Garcia (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

Sergio Garcia (Bob Self/The Florida Times-Union via AP)

MIAMI (AFP) – Masters champion Sergio Garcia charged into contention during Saturday’s windy third round of The Players Championship while Americans Kyle Stanley and J.B. Holmes shared the lead after 54 holes.

Spain’s Garcia, the 2008 Players winner, and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo each fired five-under par 67s at the TPC Sawgrass course to leap up the leaderboard even as Holmes and Stanley clung to the lead of the US PGA Tour event at nine-under 207.

“Even though it was much tougher with the windy conditions and how gusty it was out there, I was able to hit some really quality shots,” Garcia said.

In his first start since last month’s breakthrough win at Augusta National after 73 prior major failures, Garcia shined with six birdies, three bogeys, and a 17-foot chip-in eagle at the par-5 16th.

“I’ve always been confident with myself,” Garcia said.