Sport

Rory McIlroy struggles as Sergio Garcia leads way in South Africa

Rory McIlroy struggles as Sergio Garcia leads way in South Africa

Rory McIlroy plays a shot during the pro- am prior to the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Gary Player CC in Sun City, South Africa.

Even back-to-back victories would leave McIlroy short should Molinari finish second on his own or tied with one other at next week's season-ending event in the desert. "But it's great to come with some good momentum, playing nicely and in the lead".

Garcia was already in first place, leading by four strokes, when he teed off on Friday, and while he started superbly with birdies on the first two holes, and picked up further strokes on the par-four sixth and the par-five ninth and 14 holes, he also had four bogeys in his round, three of them due to three-putts. "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".

Sergio Garcia carded eight birdies in a flawless opening round in South Africa. "But I gave myself lots of chances, so then this leads to more birdies". I would certainly have taken that on Thursday morning.

"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.

Oosthuizen looked to be struggling after a double-bogey on the eighth hole saw him turn at one under-par for the round.




He is four shots ahead of the field.

But an eagle on the 10th and birdies on 14 and 15 elevated the 2010 Open Championship victor up the leaderboard on a hard day for scoring with a swirling breeze.

"Over the years eight has always been a tough tee shot on the eye for me, I only see a three-iron there and it was a bit into the breeze today".

McIlroy is nearly two million points behind Molinari and needs to win at least one of the remaining two events to overhaul the Italian, who enjoys a lead of just over one million points from Ryder Cup partner and defending champion Tommy Fleetwood.

"I think if I can manage to shoot somewhere in the 60s, maybe 70 might be enough". It's a ball-striker's paradise, really.

"It was very hard this morning, the wind was blowing a lot and the first few holes were straight into it". "It's never easy, but I've done it before so hopefully I can do it again".


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