Sergio Garcia shot one of golf's most remarkable course records in Dubai - two eagles, nine birdies, two bogeys and a triple-bogey seven.

It all added up to a second-round 64, eight-under-par, at the DP World Tour Championship and from 49th place overnight he was back in contention. The score was all the more amazing with this being the 32-year-old Spaniard's first event since the Ryder Cup in September. He underwent laser surgery afterwards to correct his astigmatism.

"It was unbelievable, wasn't it?" he said after moving from one-over-par to seven under.

An 18-foot eagle putt from just off the back of the final green made Garcia the sixth player to hand in a 64 on the Greg Norman-designed Earth course, venue for the European Tour's season-ending showpiece for the past four years.

South African Branden Grace, five times a winner since coming through the Tour qualifying school last December, shot 65 to set the clubhouse target of 10 under, but soon had compatriot Louis Oosthuizen and world number one Rory McIlroy for company at the top.

Oosthuizen, winner of The Open at St Andrews two years ago and loser of a play-off in the US Masters this April, reached the mark by following an eagle on the long 14th with a birdie at the reachable next, while McIlroy lipped out for what would have been a matching score, but tapped in for his fifth birdie of the day.

Overnight leader Luke Donald was only one behind along with 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel - the third South African on the leaderboard - Scot Marc Warren and Swede Henrik Stenson, who won the South African Open on Sunday.

Garcia had five birdies in an outward 31, started for home with two more, bogeyed the next two, then sank a 30-foot eagle putt on the long 14th. The tee at the 371-yard 15th had been moved up and after driving the green he sank an eight-foot second putt for birdie, but then pushed an eight-iron into the water on the next.

With three putts a triple bogey went on his card, but he hit back with a six iron to four feet and then had his closing eagle - after his drive had headed for the stream running down the fairway, but then hit the rocks and bounced out.

Moments earlier German Marcel Siem had hit his second shot into the water by the green and by taking a bogey six had to settle for a 65. Welshman Jamie Donaldson also ran up a six and, having bogeyed the 16th as well, he dropped back from 10 under to eight under.