Garcia is home and in range with his sweet 63 in Spain

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Former world No. 2 Sergio Garcia, chasing his first European Tour victory for almost three years, fired a blistering eight-under 63 to take a two-shot lead after the Castello Masters second round yesterday.

The 31-year-old Spaniard, who has slumped to 49th in the rankings, finished with a 12-under total of 130, two ahead of Swede Alex Noren (63).

“I’m getting there with my ball striking although there are a couple of things I’d like to get better,” Garcia said. “A couple of shots didn’t come out the way I wanted them to today.” Tournament promoter Garcia is this week playing on his home Mediterraneo course where he also won this event in 2008. Garcia strung together seven birdies and an eagle courtesy of a 40-foot putt at the par-five eighth. His 63 equalled the score he registered when finishing fourth in this event in 2009.

“I do have an advantage over a couple of shots here and there on my course,” said Garcia. Overnight leader Ross McGowan (70), fellow Briton Gary Orr (67) and Australia’s Marcus Fraser (64) were four strokes off the lead in joint third place.