• Thailand Golf Championship

Garcia surges clear of Stenson and co

ESPN staff
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Garcia has girlfriend Katharina Boehm on the bag in Thailand © Getty Images
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Sergio Garcia finished with back-to-back birdies to shoot a second straight 7-under 65 on Saturday and seize a four-shot lead at the Thailand Golf Championship.

The Spaniard carded eight birdies overall to go with a lone bogey on the fourth to move to 18-under par in the Asian Tour event.

"I was able to hit some really nice shots and then was able to roll two or three really good putts in and it was nice to be able to finish birdie, birdie on this difficult finishing stretch," Garcia said.

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Henrik Stenson also recorded a 65 to sit tied for second with Anirban Lahiri of India, who shot 67.

US Open champion Justin Rose, who shared the overnight lead with Garcia, only managed a 70 to fall five shots back.

Garcia raised some eyebrows by playing with his girlfriend, Katharina Boehm, as his caddie this week, but the partnership seems to be working just fine. The Spaniard, though, did joke that Boehm was holding him back.

"I think if she will not be on the bag it would probably be like 25-under," Garcia, who had a hole-in-one on Friday, said. "No, seriously, it's great to have her around, forget about having her on the bag this week.

"She's just a very positive person with a lot of good energy - that's what I love about her. It's great to be able to go through this with her. I think the experience, not only for me but for her, I'm sure is interesting and a lot of memories."

Stenson, the hottest player in golf over the second half of the season, had a bogey-free round to put himself in contention. Having become the first player to win both the FedEx Cup and the European money title this year, Stenson certainly looks like the biggest threat to Garcia's chances of winning a first title of 2013.

"That was a good day, definitely was the best I played this week," Stenson said. "I made some good birdies and some really good saves to keep the momentum going.

"I saw Sergio, he finished with two birdies to pull away four ahead again, so it's going to take some golf to catch him tomorrow. I know he's desperate to get his hands on a trophy, he's played well this year but has not managed to win anything. I'll try to challenge and see what happens."

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