January 17, 2019

Garcia retains Nedbank lead despite putting woes

10 November 2018, 10:08 | Pamela Mathis

Rory McIlroy has sights still set on Race to Dubai win

Rory McIlroy left in Sergio Garcia's wake after first round of Nedbank Golf Challenge

"I think if I can manage to shoot somewhere in the 60s, maybe 70 might be enough, " said Garcia, who opened the tournament with an 8-under 64 before carding 71 and then 71 again on Saturday.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel is one of three players on four under, along with Finn Mikko Korhonen and Frenchman Mike

The Spaniard's play in the early part of 2018 was so poor that some saw him as a risky selection for a Ryder Cup wild card but he has not looked back since being selected by Europe captain Thomas Bjorn.

"I actually played pretty nicely on the front nine but it was a bad, bad finish". The golf course is a ball-striker's paradise, really.

"I made three or four very good putts, those little bonuses that you do not expect to make".

"This tricky wind moved all over the place, and on one hole you could have three or four different winds". It's going to take two really low ones to get into contention, but hopefully I keep climbing the leaderboard and making birdies.

Fisher had eagled the second and picked up six more birdies to reduce Garcia's lead to two shots.

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A group of eight players are at three under-par, including defending champion Branden Grace and 2010 British Open victor Louis Oosthuizen.

Scrivener began well with three birdies in his opening 6 holes and while not able to build further on the start he continues to perform well.

In nine previous appearances at Sun City, 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel has had five top-10 finishes, including being runner-up to German Martin Kaymer in 2012.

Rory McIlroy is one of three players along with Li Haotong and Lucas Bjerregaard competing at Sun City who still have a chance of winning the Race to Dubai and ending the season as European No. 1, although their hopes appear to be slipping away.

"My thing is I'm coming here with the goal that, if I can get into that final group on Thursday with Frankie next week, that would be a good start", said the Northern Irishman.

"I need to tidy up my game off the tee. It's not ideal to see three-putts, but some of the pins were nearly impossible to get to and when you leave yourself 20 or 25 feet putting over hills then it's gonna happen sometimes", a phlegmatic Garcia said after his round on Friday.

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