European Tour

Nedbank Golf Challenge 2018

November 08-11

Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa

$7,500,000

Live Leaderboard

November 08-11

Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, South Africa

$7,500,000

Live Leaderboard

Round 1

Sergio soars into early lead at Sun City

November 08, 2018

Sergio Garcia fired a brilliant bogey-free 64 to open up a commanding four-shot lead after round one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.

Sergio soars into early lead at Sun City, © Getty Images

- Getty Images

The Spaniard has won twice before at Gary Player Country Club before this event joined the European Tour International Schedule and his eight under par total was his lowest round in Sun City since he claimed his first title in 2001.

“Very excited and very pleased about the round. This is not a golf course that plays easy when it's a little bit breezy like it was today. When it swirls, it's even tougher. I managed to keep the ball in play nicely. I hit a lot of greens, which is important to do here with the little spots that you can put the pins in, and I managed to roll some nice putts. You know, it was a good combination of the whole game."

“It's nice, but it's still the first day. There's still a lot of golf to be played and a lot of tough days to come around. Obviously it's nice to start like that, I'm not going to lie, but there's still a lot of golf to be played.”

It was also his lowest opening round of the season by two shots and left him four clear of fellow Masters Tournament winner Charl Schwartzel, Finn Mikko Korhonen and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera. That gap matched the largest of the season after 18 holes, recorded by Arjun Atwal at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open almost 12 months ago.

“Very happy the way I've been hitting the ball today was really a good performance," said Lorenzo-Vera. "Bogey-free, and the long game was proper consistent. I've been working really hard on my swing like the last three, four days. Even in Turkey last week, I was out of the tournament so I searched for something that can make me hit the driver good, and I think I found it. Managed to hit good off the tee here and makes it easier if you come from the fairway."

“It's great to be in South Africa. The courses are fantastic every time and the quality of the course is great. I was walking on the course yesterday, and I see some elephants. Today it was zebra. It's something you don't see often. It's nice, just pure pleasure.”

Since being selected as a Captain's Pick for The 2018 Ryder Cup by Thomas Bjørn, Garcia has had a top ten at the Portugal Masters, won three points at Le Golf National to become Europe's all-time leading scorer and won the Andalucia Valderrama Masters hosted by his own foundation. The 38 year old is now going in search of a second win in a row and a first Rolex Series victory in South Africa.

There was then a group of six players at three under including 2010 Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen, with defending champion Branden Grace and New Zealander Ryan Fox at two under, and Race to Dubai hopefuls Li Haotong and Rory McIlroy a further one and two shots back respectively.

Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-8
64
T2
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
-4
68
T2
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-4
68
T2
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-4
68
T5
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-3
69
T5
Ashun Wu
CHI
-3
69
T5
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-3
69
T5
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-3
69
T5
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-3
69
T5
Matt Wallace
ENG
-3
69
T11
Branden Grace
RSA
-2
70
T11
Ryan Fox
NZL
-2
70
T13
Andrea Pavan
ITA
-1
71
T13
Haotong Li
CHN
-1
71
T13
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-1
71
T13
Lee Westwood
ENG
-1
71
T13
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-1
71
T13
Ross Fisher
ENG
-1
71
T13
Shane Lowry
IRL
-1
71
T13
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
-1
71
T21
Aaron Rai
ENG
Par
72
T21
Chris Paisley
ENG
Par
72
T21
Dean Burmester
RSA
Par
72
T21
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
Par
72
T21
Joost Luiten
NED
Par
72
T21
Matthias Schwab
AUT
Par
72
T21
Paul Waring
ENG
Par
72
T21
Renato Paratore
ITA
Par
72
T21
Richard McEvoy
ENG
Par
72
T21
Rory McIlroy
NIR
Par
72
T31
Andrew Johnston
ENG
1
73
T31
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
1
73
T31
George Coetzee
RSA
1
73
T31
Padraig Harrington
IRL
1
73
T31
Sam Horsfield
ENG
1
73
T31
Wade Ormsby
AUS
1
73
T37
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
2
74
T37
Brandon Stone
RSA
2
74
T37
Darren Fichardt
RSA
2
74
T37
Hideto Tanihara
JPN
2
74
T37
Nacho Elvira
ESP
2
74
T37
Julien Guerrier
FRA
2
74
T37
Lee Slattery
ENG
2
74
T37
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
2
74
T37
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
2
74
T37
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
2
74
T37
Trevor Immelman
RSA
2
74
T48
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
3
75
T48
Gavin Green
MAS
3
75
T48
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
3
75
T48
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
3
75
T48
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
3
75
T48
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
3
75
T48
Oliver Fisher
ENG
3
75
T48
Robert Rock
ENG
3
75
T48
Thomas Detry
BEL
3
75
T48
Tom Lewis
ENG
3
75
T58
Lucas Herbert
AUS
4
76
T58
Martin Kaymer
GER
4
76
T58
Thomas Aiken
RSA
4
76
T58
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
4
76
T62
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
5
77
T62
Jens Dantorp
SWE
5
77
T62
Richard Sterne
RSA
5
77
T62
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
5
77
T66
Ashley Chesters
ENG
6
78
T66
Danny Willett
ENG
6
78
T66
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
6
78
T66
Paul Dunne
IRL
6
78
70
Jordan Smith
ENG
7
79
71
Matthew Southgate
ENG
8
80
72
Alexander Levy
FRA
9
81
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
1
Sergio Garcia
ESP
-8
64
T2
Charl Schwartzel
RSA
-4
68
T2
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-4
68
T2
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
-4
68
T5
Andy Sullivan
ENG
-3
69
T5
Ashun Wu
CHI
-3
69
T5
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
-3
69
T5
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-3
69
T5
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-3
69
T5
Matt Wallace
ENG
-3
69
T11
Branden Grace
RSA
-2
70
T11
Ryan Fox
NZL
-2
70
T13
Andrea Pavan
ITA
-1
71
T13
Haotong Li
CHN
-1
71
T13
Jorge Campillo
ESP
-1
71
T13
Lee Westwood
ENG
-1
71
T13
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-1
71
T13
Ross Fisher
ENG
-1
71
T13
Shane Lowry
IRL
-1
71
T13
Tapio Pulkkanen
FIN
-1
71
T21
Aaron Rai
ENG
Par
72
T21
Chris Paisley
ENG
Par
72
T21
Dean Burmester
RSA
Par
72
T21
Joakim Lagergren
SWE
Par
72
T21
Joost Luiten
NED
Par
72
T21
Matthias Schwab
AUT
Par
72
T21
Paul Waring
ENG
Par
72
T21
Renato Paratore
ITA
Par
72
T21
Richard McEvoy
ENG
Par
72
T21
Rory McIlroy
NIR
Par
72
T31
Andrew Johnston
ENG
1
73
T31
Dylan Frittelli
RSA
1
73
T31
George Coetzee
RSA
1
73
T31
Padraig Harrington
IRL
1
73
T31
Sam Horsfield
ENG
1
73
T31
Wade Ormsby
AUS
1
73
T37
Adrian Otaegui
ESP
2
74
T37
Brandon Stone
RSA
2
74
T37
Darren Fichardt
RSA
2
74
T37
Hideto Tanihara
JPN
2
74
T37
Nacho Elvira
ESP
2
74
T37
Julien Guerrier
FRA
2
74
T37
Lee Slattery
ENG
2
74
T37
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
2
74
T37
Pablo Larrazabal
ESP
2
74
T37
Shubhankar Sharma
IND
2
74
T37
Trevor Immelman
RSA
2
74
T48
Alexander Bjoerk
SWE
3
75
T48
Gavin Green
MAS
3
75
T48
Kiradech Aphibarnrat
THA
3
75
T48
Lucas Bjerregaard
DNK
3
75
T48
Maximilian Kieffer
GER
3
75
T48
Nicolas Colsaerts
BEL
3
75
T48
Oliver Fisher
ENG
3
75
T48
Robert Rock
ENG
3
75
T48
Thomas Detry
BEL
3
75
T48
Tom Lewis
ENG
3
75
T58
Lucas Herbert
AUS
4
76
T58
Martin Kaymer
GER
4
76
T58
Thomas Aiken
RSA
4
76
T58
Thomas Bjorn
DEN
4
76
T62
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
5
77
T62
Jens Dantorp
SWE
5
77
T62
Richard Sterne
RSA
5
77
T62
Stephen Gallacher
SCO
5
77
T66
Ashley Chesters
ENG
6
78
T66
Danny Willett
ENG
6
78
T66
Matthieu Pavon
FRA
6
78
T66
Paul Dunne
IRL
6
78
70
Jordan Smith
ENG
7
79
71
Matthew Southgate
ENG
8
80
72
Alexander Levy
FRA
9
81