(Reuters) - Spaniard Sergio Garcia sank a magical hole-in-one in a sparkling round of seven-under-par 65 to share the halfway lead with Englishman Justin Rose at the Thailand Golf Championship on Friday.
Garcia, 33, aced the par-three eighth hole at the Amata Spring Country Club to go with five birdies on his blemish-free card to lead at 11-under 133.
“Yeah, wonderful day for sure,” the Spaniard, chasing his first win of the year, told reporters.
”I saw the ball hit right of the green and started rolling.
”I was calling it to go in, and thought it’s probably going to end up close ... We were saying go in, go in and all of a sudden everybody goes ‘wow’ as I can’t see the hole from the tee box. It was quite nice to see it happen.
“There are still two days to go. I‘m obviously going to have to keep playing well, like I’ve done the first two days,” said Garcia.
World number four Rose fired an eagle, three birdies and one bogey for a 68 to join his Ryder Cup team mate at the top.
“It was a funny round, I got off to a bit of a slow start and it all started to happen for me in the middle of the round,” said Rose.
“I just want to keep having fun. I want to end the season in a good way, even if I win or don’t win.”
Overnight leader Alex Cejka shot 71 to fall two shots behind, along with Frenchman Alexander Levy and India’s Anirban Lahiri who carded the day’s best of 64.
Birthday boy Rickie Fowler rode a four-birdie spurt on his inward nine to shoot 66 and lie one shot behind the trio.
“I finally got a few things going, felt a little better and hit some better putts,” the American said after moving into title contention.
“I just stayed patient and made the turn and started to kind of rattle off some birdies so it was nice to finish off strong and get a good round.”
World number three Henrik Stenson of Sweden shot 67 to be four shots off lead while holder Charl Schwartzel of South Africa labored to a 73 and was eight adrift.
Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Ed Osmond