Dubai - Sergio Garcia, competing this week
for the first time since Europe's Ryder Cup win in September, equalled
the course record with a swashbuckling eight-under 64 in the DP World
Tour Championship second round on Friday.
Spaniard, who had laser eye surgery last month to correct astigmatism,
collected only four pars all day in a rollercoaster round at the Greg
Norman-designed Earth course.
Garcia produced a flawless front nine containing five birdies and four pars.
He then played the inward half without a regulation figure, notching
two eagles, four birdies, two bogeys and a triple bogey at the par-four
16th to finish with a seven-under aggregate of 137.
"I wish I
could explain that," laughed Garcia. "Everything was going well until
the 12th...and all of a sudden I kind of lost it a little bit.
"I missed a couple of short putts for par and then made a bomb on 14 for
eagle before making a good birdie at the next hole," he told reporters
on a sun-baked day at the European Tour's season-ending event.
"On 16 I probably hit the worst shot I hit all day. I just didn't commit
to the shot I wanted to hit," he said referring to an eight-iron
approach he dunked into water.
Garcia bounced back immediately
with a birdie two at the 17th before "getting lucky" with his drive at
the 18th where he grabbed his second eagle of the round.
the drive five yards left of where I wanted but got a very good bounce
off the rocks and hit a very nice five-wood to 20 feet and holed a great
putt from just off the green."
Garcia's 64 matched the previous record held by British pair Lee
Westwood and Ross Fisher, Germany's Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson of
Sweden and defending champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.
"I'm coming back from a long break so I'm trying to get some good vibrations going," said former world number two Garcia.
"I was trying to be as calm as possible because obviously I wasn't
happy about my shot on 16. This is a course that if you drive the ball
well, and I did today, you can make some birdies and eagles.
have had a couple of rounds before where I've hit a double-bogey mixed
in with an eagle here or there but not like it happened on the back nine
Garcia, now down at 22nd in the world rankings, said he was still a long way from his best.
"I feel the rust from these last seven weeks without competing and I
need to sharpen up," he added. "But it feels good to shoot a good
Overnight leader Luke Donald, who carded a 65 on the opening day, was a late starter on Friday.
"I'm expecting the leaders to finish somewhere around 11 or
12-under-par at least so I'll have to wait and see how far away I am,"
The Spaniard said he had only noticed a slight improvement in his vision since the operation.
"Not immense but a little bit," he explained. "The main reason I had
surgery was that I was feeling very uncomfortable with contact lenses.
"It was either do nothing or get the LASIK surgery and kind of get rid of it. I'm still getting used to it."