Garcia kept in check by Bland

Richard Bland kept pace with Sergio Garcia on a day when the European Tour instituted its first third-round cut.

Sergio Garcia   -  Getty Images

Sergio Garcia and Richard Bland each carded rounds of 67 to sit tied at the top of the BMW International Open leaderboard on 13 under.

On a day when the European Tour enacted a third-round cut for the first time following the introduction of a new regulation, Garcia and Bland caught the eye at the right end of the standings.

Masters champion Garcia, competing in his first European event since triumphing at Augusta, sunk seven birdies in Munich, while Bland's scorecard featured a hole-out eagle at the par-four 13th.

The Englishman, who is seeking a maiden win, also managed a remarkable gain at 11 despite finding the water.

World No. 5 Garcia was content with a solid day's work and revealed a surprising lack of confidence for a man who broke his long-standing major duck just two months ago.

"I hit some really good shots out there and I hit a couple of scrappy ones coming in, but my short game saved me," he said.

"The confidence to be fair has been a little fragile recently. I've not been playing that great. But rounds like that, and the two previous rounds, just kind of helps the confidence.

"So I've just got to go out there tomorrow [Sunday] with the same attitude and if I can keep hitting some good shots, then hopefully I've got a say come tomorrow afternoon.

"You've got to stay aggressive when you can and hopefully take your chances and hopefully that will be good enough."

The leading duo's nearest rival is Joakim Lagergren, who birdied the last two holes to move to within one stroke of the summit, which he occupied after Friday's play.

Thomas Detry and Andres Romero are both on 10 under, while defending champion Henrik Stenson's 72 leaves him five adrift.

A third-round cull was instituted after more than 78 players made the halfway cut, as per the stipulations of a rule introduced prior to the season.

Oliver Fisher and Jbe Kruger were among those to miss out.

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