Club champion when he was only 12, Garcia was six behind Noren when he teed off again and went into overdrive after taking six on the long fourth.
He eagled the 549 yard eighth from 15 feet and added six birdies to his opening one before saving par with a marvellous bunker shot at the difficult 17th.
"Because I'm home I've hit that shot so many times," Garcia said. "I hit it perfectly."
After falling from second in the world to outside the top 75, he is now back to 49th with top 12 finishes in the last three Majors.
"It's getting there," he added. "It's not quite there yet - sometimes I have a little bit of a hard time hitting a draw, but when my little fade works out I can keep it in play.
“At the weekend I’ll try to hit good shots, to putt well and I’m going to do my utmost.
“It’s nice to be up there, that’s why we train. It’s even nicer to be there on Sunday afternoon. Alex is right behind me so I need to keep focused.”
Noren won the Saab Wales Open in June and then a month later took his home Nordea Masters by seven - despite a closing 77.
With overnight leader Ross McGowan following up his 64 with a 70, the 29 year old set the early pace with eight birdies, something he did not expect before he teed off.
"It didn't feel that good on the range," Noren said. "But I found my swing and holed a lot of putts.
"I played probably the best I've ever played on the front nine."
McGowan is now joint third with Scot Gary Orr and Australian Marcus Fraser, while among those who missed the cut were Colin Montgomerie, José María Olazábal and John Daly.