Playing on the European Tour for the first time since laser eye surgery a month ago, the Spaniard matched the course record at the Dubai World Championship with an 8-under 64 Friday. That left Garcia at 7-under 137 for the tournament, one shot behind clubhouse leader Danny Willett of England.
It was a topsy-turvy day for Garcia, who started strong with four birdies on his first five holes. He then had a string of birdies at the turn before holing a long putt for eagle on 14 to get him thinking about breaking the course record. But then he dumped it in the water on 16 for a triple bogey before recovering to finish with a birdie and eagle.