Flawless García fires 64 for four-shot Nedbank lead

Tanya Simon
November 10, 2018

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.

Garcia's birdies came on the first, on four out of five holes from the seventh, and then on three of the last four. It's not ideal to see three-putts, but some of the pins were nearly impossible to get to and when you leave yourself 20 or 25 feet putting over hills then it is going to happen sometimes. There are still two days to go and I am leading, so I am still in a great spot.

Garcia, twice a Sun City victor before the Nedbank became part of the tour, made eight birdies in a brilliant start to the penultimate tournament of the season to move four strokes clear of Charl Schwartzel, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Mikko Korhonen at the Gary Player Country Club.

Fisher then bogeyed his last three holes, dropping eight shots in his last four for a 72 when he was on course to better Garcia's opening-round 64. I rolled the ball nicely, I made some good putts here and there. I would certainly have taken that on Thursday morning.

Fisher's hopes quickly faded after racking up a quintuple-bogey from the trees at the par-five 15th, as Oosthuizen cancelled out a double-bogey at the eighth with an eagle at the 10th and picked up another shot at the par-five 14th. "I kept the ball in play all the time, which is hard to do here".

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The Spaniard leads by four over South African Charl Schwartzel, Finland's Mikko Korhonen and Mike Vera Lorenzo of France but just one shot further back is a large group that includes Australian Jason Scrivener.

McIlroy's front nine was promising with three birdies offset by just a single bogey, at the par-four third when his ball plugged just below the lip of a greenside bunker. "I think that's going to be key this week", he said.

Defending champion Branden Grace of South Africa opened with a 70. "And I feel like my game is really right on the verge".

New Zealand's Ryan Fox however has made a good start with a round of 69 to be 2 under and in 11th place.

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