Sergio Garcia responded to a disappointing showing at the US Open to vault into contention for the BMW International Open here with a spectacular third round of 65.
The Spaniard, who was taunted by American fans over ill-judged comments about Tiger Woods en route to finishing 45th at Merion last week, was well down the field after opening efforts of 71 and 69 in Bavaria.
But, after bad weather delayed the field, Garcia made the most of an early start to shoot a seven-under par score yesterday. The catalyst for his improvement was a birdie on the fifth which was the first of four over the next six holes.
Garcia also birdied the 15th and 16th and picked up one more shot on the 18th to set the early pace. Brandon Stone, of South Africa, was another of the early starters to shine with a third-round 67 leaving him one shot ahead of Garcia on 12-under going into today's finale.
After Ernie Els had led the tournament going into the third round, another European tour veteran, Thomas Bjorn, rolled back the years yesterday. The Dane birdied four of the last six holes to match Garcia's 65 and finish the day in a strong position on 14-under. After more than an hour of the day was lost to heavy rain and flooding in the morning, Els struggled at first to recapture the form of his 63 on the opening day but recovered on the back nine to finish tied for the lead on 15-under for the tournament.
Alexander Levy, who had been one shot behind Els overnight, moved level with the South African by making two birdies in his first three holes en route to a 68.
Sweden's Alex Noren also shares the overall lead after birdies on the third, fifth and sixth holes before an eagle on the 16th during a six-under par round of 66. England's Matthew Baldwin lies one shot back after a third-round 69.