Sergio Garcia dominates opening day at Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City

Annette Crawford
November 10, 2018

Sergio Garcia was pegged back on the second day of the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

Garcia was faultless in shooting 64 in his opening round but found the going much tougher on Friday as he finished with a 71 and a nine under-par total.

Defending champion Branden Grace, headed to the clubhouse with a solid but unspectacular two-under 70 while his playing partner Rory McIlroy had to settle for a frustrating even-par 72. "I rolled the ball nicely, and I made some good putts here and there".

But he was once again unable to safely negotiate the par-four eighth, following his first-round bogey with a double bogey Friday.

But an eagle on the 10th and birdies on 14 and 15 elevated the 2010 Open champion up the leaderboard on a hard day for scoring with a swirling breeze.

"I can't look too far ahead, but if I can do what I need to do this week, leapfrog a few guys and get into that final pair on Thursday, that would be a huge step".

"I've played good golf, I've played consistent golf, and I've played in six final groups this year but I haven't had a win out of any of those final groups", McIlroy added.

"It (Las Vegas) was a good trial run for what I was working on the last couple of weeks".

Garcia's birdies came on the first, on four out of five holes from the seventh, and then on three of the last four.

Garcia is seeking a third Nedbank title but first since 2003.

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

But after driving into the trees on the 15th, the Englishman took six shots to reach the green and then three-putted for a nine.

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.

He was by no means the only player to struggle on the 15th though as 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (78) needed nine shots to complete the hole.

Li Haotong, who can also win the Race to Dubai at next week's Tour Championship, carded a 71.

Eighth-placed McIlroy is nearly £1.75m behind Molinari and needs to win at least one of the remaining two events to overhaul the Italian, who enjoys a lead of just under £1m from Ryder Cup partner and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood. "Hopefully I can get off to a good start this week‚" said the Ulsterman.

"If I can tidy that up tomorrow I should be alright, but obviously I'm pretty disappointed right now", said McIlroy. "If you do that you give yourself a chance".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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