Garcia leads, Australian Scrivener in the mix at Sun City

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

Garcia extended his lead to five shots with birdies at the first two holes but had to sign for a one-under-par 71 after three bogeys in the last six holes at Sun City.

Garcia was already in first place, leading by four strokes, when he teed off on Friday, and while he started superbly with birdies on the first two holes, and picked up further strokes on the par-four sixth and the par-five ninth and 14 holes, he also had four bogeys in his round, three of them due to three-putts. Oosthuizen, who is from South Africa, has never won his country's most prestigious tournament.

European Tour cameras caught an all-timer Friday at the Nedbank Golf Challenge, when China's Ashun Wu was deciding whether to play it safe and punch out on the fairway or try to reach the green from a really tricky angle at the par-4 18th.

The 29-year-old will tee off in Sun City on Thursday eighth in the Race to Dubai standings, but a victory would move him into second and put him in the final pairing with leader Francesco Molinari at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai next week.

"I wouldn't say it was a frustrating back nine‚" said a pragmatic Garcia. It's not every day you're going to go out there and shoot 64, it doesn't work like that.


The South African also birdied the 15th to get briefly within two, only for Garcia to bounce back from another three-putt at the 13th to convert from close range at the next to get to 11 under.

Finn Mikko Korhonen is just three behind in solo third after a 70 with Lowry lurking ominously, tied for fourth with South Africa's Dylan Frittelli and English pair Aaron Rai and Lee Westwood on four-under.

"This sort of round does not happen very often, I was very fortunate", said the 38-year-old Spanish victor of the 2017 Masters after his bogey-free round. The golf course is a ball-striker's paradise, really. Also in that group is Lee Westwood (69), a two-time victor at Sun City.

It was the Spaniard's lowest opening round score of the season by two shots and matched the biggest first-round lead on the tour in 2018.

Tournament favourite Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland is one-under‚ eight shots off the lead.

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