SECOND ROUND LEADERBOARD:
-12 R Kulacz (Aus) -11 S Garcia (Sp), P Hanson (Swe), S Lowry (Ire) -10 M Kaymer (Ger), R Davies (Wal), C Wood (Eng)
Selected others: -9 I Poulter (Eng) R McIlroy (N Ire) -8 P Lawrie (Sco), -3 C Montgomerie (Sco), P Casey (Eng), +3 L Westwood (Eng)
McIlroy (left) and Garcia both shot under 70 in the second round
Sergio Garcia is well placed at a shot behind the surprise leader Rick Kulacz of Australia after the second round of the Abu Dhabi Championship.
Kulacz, 24, hit a stunning 63 including birdies at nine of his last 10 holes to surge through the field at 12 under.
Garcia, meanwhile, added a 67 to his first round 66 to share second place with Peter Hanson of Sweden and Shane Lowry of the Republic of Ireland.
Rory McIlroy (69) and Ian Poulter (70) were tied for eighth at nine under.
World number 13 Garcia dropped only one shot in his round of 67, a score matched by Hanson, while Lowry carded an excellent 65.
England's Chris Wood, tied for fifth at 10 under with Welshman Rhys Davies and Germany's Martin Kaymer, made a huge move up the field by adding a 64 to his first round of 70
At the other end of the leaderboard, European number one Lee Westwood missed the cut on his first appearance of the season after carding six bogeys to sink to three over par.
Lowry's second round did not get off to the best of starts as he missed back-to-back birdie putts of within five feet, but he responded with two consecutive birdies before reaching the turn in three-under 33.
The 22-year-old, who only turned professional after triumphing at Baltray in May as an amateur, added a 50-foot putt for birdie late in his round.
He said: "It is a little bit of a surprise to make such a good start, but I have just tried to play as well as I can and I haven't made too many mistakes and I've only made one bogey in two rounds."
Garcia is still struggling with the hand injury he suffered in Dubai at the end of last season. Despite the strain limiting his practice this week, the Spaniard picked up five shots in seven holes.
"After the break the practice at home wasn't the best, the weather wasn't helping and I wasn't helping. But it is nice to see that I am getting round," Garcia said.
"I am not feeling in total control of my ball flight, but I know how I am hitting it and overall, it has been two positive days."