Rookie David Lingmerth leads at TPC

Updated: May 11, 2013, 9:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Swedish rookie David Lingmerth emerged from the storm clouds to take the lead Saturday at The Players Championship.

Lingmerth ended a long day at the TPC Sawgrass with an 8-foot eagle putt on the 16th hole and a 10-foot birdie putt on the island-green 17th. That put him at 12-under-par when the round was suspended because of darkness. There was a two-hour delay earlier because of storms.

[+] EnlargeDavid Lingmerth
Richard Heathcote/Getty ImagesSwedish rookie David Lingmerth, so close to winning at the Humana Challenge earlier this year, is up two shots with one hole in his third round left to play.

Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia and Henrik Stenson -- all former Players Championship winners -- were two shots behind.

Garcia suggested that Woods was to blame for his poor shot on the second hole. The crowd cheered when Woods took out a fairway metal to play a risky shot, right as Garcia was hitting his shot.

Ten players didn't finish the third round.

Lingmerth, who began his rookie season by losing in a playoff at the Humana Challenge, poured in par putts along the back nine to stay around the leaders, and then he raced by them with his eagle-birdie finish. He returns Sunday to play the 18th hole.

Stenson was the first to reach 12 under when he made a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-5 ninth, but what appeared to be a shoo-in birdie on the par-5 11th turned into a bogey when his second shot when just long and down a steep slope. It took him two chips to reach the green and he made bogey, and Stenson made another bogey on the 15th.

Jeff Maggert, who also had a share of the lead at one point early in the day, bogeyed the last hole for a 66 and was the clubhouse leader at 9-under 207. Casey Wittenberg and Ryan Palmer also were at 9 under and still had to finish their rounds.

Lee Westwood whiffed a shot on his opening hole when his club nicked a pine tree on his downswing and the club went nearly a foot past the ball, leading to double-bogey. Westwood was 6-under with three holes to play.

Hunter Mahan's tee shot on the 15th hole got stuck high up in a tree, leading to double-bogey, but then he rolled in an eagle putt from off the 16th green. He three-putted the 17th green for bogey and wound up with a 71, putting him at 8-under 208 with David Lynn of England, who had a 68. Lynn lost in a playoff last week at Quail Hollow.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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