Stenson Takes Lead As Weather Interrupts Players

by
Reuters
Henrik Stenson of Sweden made a pair of birdies to leapfrog Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia into the lead before weather suspended play during Saturday's third round of the Players Championship.

* Woods and Garcia one back of Swede Stenson

* Lightning threat suspends third-round play (Updates with stoppage of play)

Henrik Stenson of Sweden made a pair of birdies to leapfrog Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia into the lead before weather suspended play during Saturday's third round of the Players Championship.

Stenson, the 2009 champion, took advantage of bogeys by overnight leader Garcia and world number one Woods to seize the lead with a birdie at the sixth hole that lifted him to 11 under par for the tournament.

Two holes later a warning horn sounded due to the threat of lightning in the area.

Woods and Garcia were one shot back at 10-under through six holes, one stroke better than 49-year-old Jeff Maggert (66), long-hitting Australian Marc Leishman (through 10 holes) and David Lingmerth of Sweden (through 9).

Early starters had fired away at the pins, but as the greens got firmer and the breezes blew stronger, the top contenders had more difficulty scoring.

Garcia, the 2008 champion, began the round with a one-shot lead over Woods, who won in 2001, in what is generally referred to as golf's fifth major.

A two-shot swing on the par-five second hole put Woods into the lead on 11-under when the American birdied and the Spaniard took bogey.

Woods three-putted the par-three third hole to fall back into a tie at 10 under par.

Stenson grabbed a share of the lead with a birdie at the fourth and they were joined in a four-way tie by Maggert after the veteran birdied 16 for his seventh birdie of the day.

Maggert had a bogey at the 18th, his first of the day, and Stenson moved in front with his birdie at six.

Maggert said he felt good about his chances.

"This course in particular probably really suits my style of game at this point in my career," he said. "I feel I can come out and hit the ball well and shoot a good score."

Hunter Mahan was three off the pace at eight under par after nine holes, one shot better than Masters champion Adam Scott of Australia (10), Briton David Lynn (15), Australian Greg Chalmers (16) and American Casey Wittenberg (8).

Conditions earlier in the day were more conducive to scoring with South Africans Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open winner, and Branden Grace both firing five-under-par rounds of 67.

American Chris Stroud drew the biggest roar in warm, humid conditions when he used a six-iron for a hole in one on the 186-yard 13th.