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Dark horse Lingmerth steals lead at Players

Published: 7:58AM Sunday May 12, 2013 Source: Reuters

David Lingmerth of Sweden upstaged Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and compatriot Henrik Stenson to take a two-shot lead in a weather-interrupted third round of the Players Championship.

Tour rookie Lingmerth, 25, rolled in an 2.4m eagle putt on the par-five 16th hole, then sank a three-metre birdie putt at the par-three 17th to reach 12 under par, before play was called due to darkness.

Lingmerth was four under par for the day, and his late surge put him two clear of overnight leader Garcia and world No 1 Woods, who were both playing the 15th hole when play was called, and Stenson, who had completed 16.

Stenson had seized a two-stroke lead on 12 under with a birdie at the ninth hole when the players returned to the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, following a delay of nearly two hours due to the threat of lightning.

But the big Swede bogeyed the par-five 11th and par-four 15th to slip back.

Tied for fifth place on nine under par were 49-year-old Jeff Maggert, who fired a six-under 66 for a 207 total, Ryan Palmer (through 16 holes) and Casey Wittenberg (17), who competed last year with Lingmerth on the Tour.

Another shot away were Briton David Lynn, who shot a 68, and Hunter Mahan, who posted 71 after answering a double-bogey at the 15th - after his tee shot hung up in a tree - with an eagle at the par-five 16th.

Players yet to finish the third round will return to the course at 7.10am local time (11.10pm NZT) today before the final round commences 85 minutes later.