Jason Scrivener Starts Well In Important Week At Sun City

Jason Scrivener Starts Well In Important Week At Sun City

Jason Scrivener Starts Well In Important Week At Sun City

He likely needs a finish inside the top 8 if he is to be on the plane to Dubai on Monday and his encouraging start leaves the door open.

Sergio Garcia has already opened up a significant lead at the Nedbank Challenge at Sun City in South Africa, his opening round of 64 his best start at Sun City since his win here in 2001 before the event became a European Tour title.

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.

Kiwi Ryan Fox is six shots back in a share of 11th, after carding a two-under 70 to start the tournament in South Africa.

But an eagle on the 10th and birdies on 14 and 15 elevated the 2010 Open Championship victor up the leaderboard on a hard scoring day with players hindered by a swirling breeze. His round was highlighted by holing a lengthy putt on 17.

Chasing a birdie at the 601-yard 14th, McIlroy carved his drive into the thick undergrowth, then felt that he might have exceeded the allotted five-minute time limit before the ball was found and insisted on going back to the tee to reload. He ended the day in a tie for 21st.

If he wins this week, a solo second in Dubai next week would be good enough for McIlroy to overhaul Race to Dubai leader Francesco Molinari, providing the Italian were to finish worse then tied sixth with one other.

A third player capable of ending the year as Europe's No 1, Lucas Bjerregaard, was 3-over.

Garcia is seeking a third Nedbank title but first since 2003, while South Africa's Oosthuizen has never won his country's most prestigious tournament. He began with a birdie and twice reeled off three in a row.

"This sort of round does not happen very often, I was very fortunate", said the 38-year-old Spanish victor of the 2017 Masters after his bogey-free round. "I rolled the ball nicely, and I made some good putts here and there".

"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. It's been a very hard year, so it is nice to play at home - that builds confidence and I'll probably see some results soon".

"I think I played very smart, I wasn't swinging unbelievably but I kept it under control and kept the ball in play all the time which is hard to do here".

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