Gar­cia keeps up good form in Sun City

Western Morning News - - Sport -

Ser­gio Gar­cia led the Euro­pean Tour’s Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge by four shots af­ter post­ing a su­perb eigh­tun­der 64 on the open­ing day in Sun City, South Africa.

The Spa­niard, a two-times win­ner of the event, reg­is­tered eight birdies in his bo­gey-free round yes­ter­day at Gary Player Coun­try Club.

Charl Schwartzel of South Africa was one of three play­ers on four un­der, along with Fin­land’s Mikko Korho­nen and France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera.

A group of six at three un­der in­cluded Schwartzel’s com­pa­triot Louis Oosthuizen. English­men Andy Sul­li­van and Matt Wal­lace, Aus­tralia’s Ja­son Scrivener, France’s Ben­jamin He­bert and China’s Wu Ashun are the oth­ers ly­ing five shots back.

South Africa’s de­fend­ing cham­pion Branden Grace is at two un­der, along with New Zealand’s Ryan Fox, while North­ern Ire­land’s Rory McIlroy, who went into this tour­na­ment still hope­ful of win­ning a fourth Race to Dubai ti­tle, is a fur­ther two shots back.

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

The 38-year-old Spa­niard – go­ing for a sec­ond con­sec­u­tive win, hav­ing tri­umphed at the An­dalu­cia Valder­rama Mas­ters last month – told the Euro­pean Tour’s of­fi­cial web­site: “It felt great. I made some good putts here and there.

“It was one of those rounds where things hap­pened nicely. I think I played very smart, I prob­a­bly wasn’t swing­ing un­be­liev­ably but I kept it un­der con­trol and kept the ball in play all the time, which is dif­fi­cult to do here. I man­aged to guess some of the winds here right and that is very, very dif­fi­cult. When you can do that here, it’s nice to be able to shoot a score like this.”

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