The Spaniard played 28 holes on Saturday, completing his wind-delayed second round and Round 3, and was at 16 under par, three strokes clear of Henrik Stenson.
“Obviously it wasn't easy, a little shaky here and there at the beginning. But back nine was great,” said Garcia, who completed his third round (68) in near darkness at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. “A lot of good shots, a lot of good putts.”
Stenson, who shot a 67, closed the gap to two strokes with a birdie at the 18th hole at one point and is poised to win this event for the second time.
“Certainly if I'm coming in two or three behind Sergio, something like that, that's where you want to be, and try and apply some pressure on the front nine,” Stenson said. “Anytime you can be within a couple shots heading into the back nine, you can make it happen.”