Garcia re­tains Ned­bank lead de­spite putting woes

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

SUN CITY, South Africa: Spaniard Ser­gio Garcia three­p­utted three times, but re­tained the lead at the halfway stage of the Ned­bank Golf Chal­lenge in Sun City Fri­day af­ter shoot­ing a one­un­der-par 71 in the sec­ond round.

Star at­trac­tion Rory McIl­roy from North­ern Ire­land could man­age only a 71 at the Gary Player Coun­try Club in north­west­ern South Africa, leav­ing him eight shots adrift of the 2017 Mas­ters cham­pion.

Garcia led by four strokes at the start of the day, but that ad­van­tage was cut to just one as South African Louis Oosthuizen fired a sec­ond-round 67 to climb to eigh­tun­der over­all.

Garcia be­gan with suc­ces­sive birdies, and picked up fur­ther shots on the par-four sixth, the par-five ninth and par-five 14th, but missed a short putt for par on the fifth, three-putted the 13th for a bo­gey and then dropped an­other shot on the 18th hole as his sec­ond putt horse­shoed back at him.

"I felt I played nicely to­day, but I would love a few of those putts to go in to­mor­row. It's not ideal to see three-putts, but some of the pins were al­most im­pos­si­ble to get to and when you leave your­self 20 or 25 feet putting over hills then it is go­ing to hap­pen some­times.

"Shoot­ing 68 or 69 to­day would have been great, but un­for­tu­nately that didn't work out, but you have to be ex­tremely pre­cise on this course," said Garcia. - AFP

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