Garcia eyes big finish
Sergio Garcia prolonged his Ryder Cup resurgence in South Africa only for a bogey finish to give the field a glimmer of hope.
The Spaniard opened up a twoshot lead on 10 under heading into today’s final round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, carding a one-under 71 after rattling into the grandstand up the last.
It leaves the 38-year-old on the cusp of back-to-backs wins since becoming the all-time highest points scorer at the Ryder Cup.
Garcia’s wildcard selection had been questioned by some only for him to sparkle in Paris then defend his Andalucia Valderrama Masters title last month.
But Rory McIlroy’s hopes of beating Francesco Molinari to the European No.1 crown hang by a thread entering the final 18.
The Northern Irishman needs a top-two finish to stay in the Race to Dubai running but a one- over 73 lef t him eight of f secondplaced Louis Oosthuizen.
Chasing a wire-to- wire victory, Garcia – a winner of the event in 2010 and 2011 – said: “It’s going to be tough, there’s no doubt about that.
“But it’s great to come with some good momentum, playing nicely and in the lead. It should be a fun day. I hope I can shoot somewhere in the 60s although maybe 70 might be enough.”
Oosthuizen led the home charge with a 72 while England’s Lee Westwood is one of three on seven under after signing for a 69.
Westie said: “I’ve always enjoyed putting on these greens – a lot of imagination on them.
“Sometimes you get some big breaking putts. It reminds me in a little way of Augusta the way you have to tackle it.”
Lone Scot Stephen Gallacher looks to be ending his year in South Africa having posted a 70 for a share of 56th on six over. Gal lo l ies 80th on the Race to Dubai projected rankings, with only the top 60 heading to Dubai. Russell Knox will tee up in Dubai this week knowing he’s Open bound even if last. The Scot heads into the seasonending DP World Tour Championship with a Race to Dubai top-30 spot his. But he wants a final flourish to make it into the world top 50 and all four Majors. He said: “That is where I feel I belong.”
REIGNING SUPREME Garcia takes cover from the sun as he stays top of the pile