Sun City - Sergio Garcia led the Nedbank Golf Challenge after the first round
resumed on Friday morning, but his success on the golf course was overshadowed
by the passing of Nelson Mandela.
to lose Madiba, not only for South Africa, but for the world,” said Garcia. “He
was such a great man and did so many great things for humanity. He was someone
to look up to.”
Spaniard includes the 2001 and 2003 Nedbank Golf Challenge to his tally of 24
professional wins and took steps towards a third title with his opening 66 at
Gary Player Country Club.
round was suspended at 4.18pm on Thursday afternoon due to thunderstorms, which
meant Garcia had to complete the back nine early on Friday morning. The break
served him well – he tore through the second loop in 31 strokes with birdies at
the 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, and 17th.
the fourth hole ahead of the storm delays on Thursday, but his play after that
was flawless as he attacked the pins and made his putts to continue the
impressive form he has showed in the build-up to the tournament.
while casual about his impressive six-under-par round, was moved by the passing
passed away, but I’m sure he’s looking down on us and making sure that we stay
on track,” he said.
a one-stroke lead over Thomas Bjorn of Denmark, Wales’ Jamie Donaldson and
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano of Spain, with former world number one Luke Donald
and Charl Schwartzel sharing fifth on four-under-par. World No 3 Henrik
Stenson, one of the favourites for the tournament, carded an opening
three-under-par 69 together with Thailand’s Thongchai Jaidee.
SCORES (RSA unless otherwise specified):66 – Sergio Garcia (ESP)
67 – Jamie Donaldson (WAL), Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP), Thomas Bjorn (DEN)
68 – Luke Donald (ENG), Charl Schwartzel
69 – Thongchai Jaidee (THA), Henrik Stenson (SWE)
70 – Brendon de Jonge (ZIM), Peter Uihlein (USA)
71 – Thaworn Wiratchant (THA), Darren Fichardt, DA Points (USA), Ryan Moore (RSA), Martin Kaymer (GER)
72 – Matteo Manassero (ITA)
73 – David Lynn (ENG), Richard Sterne, Justin Rose (ENG), Victor Dubuisson (FRA)
74 – Joost Luiten (NED), Louis Oosthuizen, Gary Woodland (USA)
75 – Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Kevin Streelman (USA)
76 – Francesco Molinari (ITA), Morten Orum Madsen (DEN)
77 – Dawie van der Walt
80 – Peter Senior (AUS)