The Spaniard launched his round with six birdies as he compiled a six-under-par 66 to leave him trailing clubhouse leader Wade Ormsby of Australia by two shots with Belgium’s Thomas Detry sandwiching the pair.
Garcia won the first major of his career in April when he beat Justin Rose in a sudden death play-off to claim the Masters and is one of three players on six under at the Golfclub Munchen in Munich.
Defending champion Henrik Stenson is a shot behind on five under, where he is joined by England’s Richard Bland, James Morrison, Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Southgate.
“It was great,” said Garcia to the European Tour website.
“I felt like I played quite well, not spectacular, but very consistent throughout the whole day. I was very happy to see some of the shots I hit and some of the putts I made and very happy with my six under.
“There’s still three more to go, so we’re going to keep playing hard and hopefully we’ll have some more like this and we’ll be up there on Sunday.”