Garcia leads Castello Masters
Castellon - Sergio Garcia opened up a two-shot lead at the Castello Masters on Friday as the talented Spaniard took a step closer to ending a three-year title drought.
Playing on the same Club de Campo del Mediterraneo course where he was a boys champion at the age of 12, the 31-year-old Spaniard carded an eight under par 63.
It took him to 12 under par at the halfway mark - two ahead of Sweden's Alex Noren, who was also round in 63 as he seeks a third win of the season.
Garcia eagled the 549 yard eighth from 15 feet and added six birdies to his opening one before saving par with a fine bunker shot at the difficult 17th.
"Because I'm home I've hit that shot so many times," Garcia said. "I hit it perfectly," said Garcia who is back at 49 in the world thanks to top 12 finishes in the last three Majors.
"It's getting there," he said. "It's not quite there yet - sometimes I have a little bit of a hard time hitting a draw, but when my little fade works out I can keep it in play.
"It’s nice to be up there, that’s why we train. It’s even nicer to be there on Sunday afternoon. Alex is right behind me so I need to keep focused."
Britain's new star Tom Lewis, who won the Portugal Masters in only his third start as a professional last weekend, withdrew before the second round because of a virus.
Overnight leader Ross McGowan carded a second round 70 and is eight under for the tournament, four shots off the lead.
He is now joint third with Scotland's Gary Orr and Australian Marcus Fraser.
However, big guns Colin Montgomerie, Jose Maria Olazabal and John Daly all missed the cut.
Leading and selected second round scores in the European Tour Castello Masters at the Club de Campo del Mediterraneo, Castellon on Friday (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 71):
130 - Sergio Garcia (ESP) 67-63
132 - Alexander Noren (SWE) 69-63
134 - Gary Orr 67-67, Marcus Fraser (AUS) 70-64, Ross McGowan 64-70
135 - Ricardo Gonzalez (ARG) 69-66, Anthony Wall 67-68, Richard McEvoy 66-69, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (ESP) 69-66
136 - Carlos Del Moral (ESP) 70-66, Richie Ramsay 72-64, Matt Haines 70-66, Marcel Siem (GER) 68-68, Thongchai Jaidee (THA) 67-69
137 - Thomas Aiken (RSA) 68-69, David Horsey 72-65, Matteo Manassero (ITA) 69-68, Scott Strange (AUS) 69-68, George Coetzee (RSA) 67-70, David Drysdale 70-67, Niclas Fasth (SWE) 68-69, Fabrizio Zanotti (PAR) 66-71, Mark Foster 68-69
138 - Gary Boyd 70-68, Richard Green (AUS) 70-68, Rafael Cabrera Bello (ESP) 71-67, Lorenzo Gagli (ITA) 70-68
139 - Christian Cevaer (FRA) 71-68, Damien McGrane 69-70, Romain Wattel (FRA) 70-69, Joost Luiten (NED) 71-68, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 72-67, Gregory Havret (FRA) 69-70, Thomas Levet (FRA) 71-68
140 - James Kingston (RSA) 69-71, Anthony Kang (USA) 70-70
141 - Hennie Otto (RSA) 72-69, Matthew Zions (AUS) 70-71, Mark Brown (NZL) 69-72, Brett Rumford (AUS) 70-71, Keith Horne (RSA) 71-70
Missed the cut:
143 - John Daly (USA) 73-70
144 - Daniel Gaunt (AUS) 75-69, Colin Montgomerie 70-74
145 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 72-73
146 - Jose-Maria Olazabal (ESP) 72-74
WD: Tom Lewis 71