Sergio Garcia takes control, Schwartzel remains in the hunt at Firestone

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Former US Masters Champion remains in the hunt
Former US Masters Champion remains in the hunt.

Sergio Garcia birdied the final seven holes to equal the course record set by Tiger Woods and compatriot Jose Maria Olazabel, finishing the second round of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in control of a leaderboard packed with former Major Champions.

Course record

The Spaniard posted a back nine, eight-under 27, to complete 36 holes at 11-under at Firestone Country Club, three-shots clear of Justin Rose and a chasing pack that includes former US Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel and Open Champion Rory McIlroy.

Garcia put on a masterclass on the greens, one-putting the final 11-holes, to seize the initiative coming into the weekend, although he will be wary of the quality of the chasing pack which includes no less than four Major Champions.

Chasing pack

Former U.S. Open champion Justin Rose shot a 67 to hold onto second place three-shots adrift of the Spaniard, while Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy posted a six-under 64 moving into a share of third place at seven-under.

Overnight leader, Marc Leishman shot a second round one-under 69 to join McIlroy in third while Rickie Fowler and Charl Schwartzel share fifth place a shot adrift.

Patrick Reed and Keegan Bradley are one back at five-under while defending champion Woods stuttered to a one-over 71.

The Open Championship runner-up was in scintillating form on his way to equaling Olazabel's course record set in 1990, however his back nine smashed the previous record by two shots.

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The ecstatic Spaniard told the waiting media after his round: "I've been fortunate to have some good rounds, but I think that was my lowest round in tournament play and also my lowest nine holes.

"So, it was very nice. I did get a little bit lucky on the front nine. I hit three bad tee shots and I got good breaks, and was able to save par. And that kept my round going.

"I started to hit the ball very good on the back nine. I rolled the ball nicely, so I'm thrilled with it."

Former Masters Champion shows you how to swing

Schwartzel who finished tied seventh in the recent Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, goes into the weekend well placed as he looks to fine tune his game ahead of next weekend's PGA Championship at Valhalla, the scene of the 2008 US Ryder Cup win.

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