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July 20 2013

10:38 AM

Garcia makes move with 68

Sergio Garcia is looking to win his first major championship this week.   (Lewis/Getty Images)

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

GULLANE, Scotland -- When he finished off a round of 68 on Saturday at Muirfield, Sergio Garcia had jumped 29 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 20th.

Where he'll stand after everyone has completed three rounds in The Open Championship remains to be seen. But at least Garcia, whose round of 3 under was one of just three sub-70 scores among the first 40 posted, said he "finally felt like I knew what I was doing out there."

Garcia's 68 matched Richard Sterne as the low of the day -- so far. It included six birdies and just two bogeys as the Spaniard stalks his first major in 60 starts.

"And it wasn't easy," Garcia said. "It was definitely breezier than it was yesterday. Very similar wind. But I finally was able to hit some good shots and was able to trust my shots a little bit better. And thanks to that, I was able to score nicely."

Padraig Harrington, who played with Garcia, was impressed. "He played very well," the Irishman said. "You've got to think was quite unlucky to only shoot 3-under par.

Garcia said he knew he needed a good round to have a "slight" chance. At the same time, he can't afford to have players in front of him duplicate -- or exceed -- that kind of score.

"I can't tell you what's going to happen this afternoon," Garcia said. "... But if someone at 2- or 3-under shoots, 3- or 4-under par, it's going to be too far back."

Garcia said the pins were more accessible on Saturday than they'd been earlier in the week. The greens were watered overnight, as well, and overcast conditions early in the morning kept conditions more palatable.

"I'm not going to say it was soft, because it wasn't," Garcia said. "But it was definitely not as firm, and ... if you drove the ball well, you were able to hit some good shots at it. But it's definitely breezier than it was yesterday."

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