Lowry surges to stay hot on Garcia's heels in Sun City

Carrie Guzman
November 10, 2018

Branden Grace is "super excited" to be back at Sun City, and he is hopeful that he can become South Africa's first back-to-back victor of the Nedbank Golf Challenge since Ernie Els in 1999-2000.

At one stage Garcia led by five shots as he opened his round with birdies on the first two holes, but four bogeys, including the 18th, spoiled his day and allowed others to close in around him.

The 29-year-old was three under after 13, but he bogeyed the 14, a par five he would have expected to birdie, and then came the ugly six which saw him crash out of the top 20. Oosthuizen, who is from South Africa, has never won his country's most prestigious tournament.

Sergio García leads the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

McIlroy must win at least one of the final two events of the season, the Nedbank and next weekend's DP World Tour Championship, to have a chance of overhauling Race to Dubai leader Francesco Molinari, who isn't playing in Sun City. The golf course is a ball-striker's paradise, really.

But he was once again unable to safely negotiate the par-four eighth, following his first-round bogey with a double bogey Friday.

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"It's the first tournament that I came to watch live and watch my heroes play", Schwartzel said.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel is one of three players on four under, along with Finn Mikko Korhonen and Frenchman Mike

Frittelli carded a five-under on Friday‚ and is in a group that includes England's Lee Westwood and Aaron Rai‚ as well as Ireland's Shane Lowry. "Hopefully I can get off to a good start this week".

The Spaniard responded by holing a 15-footer at the next and making another from a similar distance at the ninth to reach the turn three ahead, only for Ross Fisher to cut the gap to two after following a front-nine 31 with three birdies in four holes from the 11th.

Garcia was faultless in shooting 64 in his opening round, but found the going much tougher on Friday as he finished with a 71 and a nine under-par total.

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.

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