Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Garcia sets pace at Sun City with faultless 64

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Shannon Reynolds | 10 November, 2018, 17:41

Garcia, chasing a second win in as many starts on the European Tour, followed up his opening-round 64 with a one-under 71 in Sun City to stay one ahead of nearest challenger Oosthuizen. The greens are getting firmer‚ the pins were tight and not easy to get close to. "It's not ideal to see three-putts, but some of the pins were nearly impossible to get to and when you leave yourself 20 or 25 feet putting over hills then it's gonna happen sometimes", a phlegmatic Garcia said after his round on Friday. If you do that you can give yourself a lot of chances around here, but you need to get the ball in the fairway first. "I think that's going to be key this week", he said. I would certainly have taken that on Thursday morning.

Just as Garcia started slipping from a commanding position‚ South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen started making significant gains.

Fisher's hopes quickly faded after racking up a quintuple-bogey from the trees at the par-five 15th, as Oosthuizen cancelled out a double-bogey at the eighth with an eagle at the 10th and picked up another shot at the par-five 14th.

"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. I still could have got away with a bogey, but both my caddie and I completely misread the putt".

"If it were a bogey it would have been fine‚" he said about missing a putt that would have limited the damage.

Finn Mikko Korhonen sits third, three shots off Garcia, with English pair Lee Westwood and Aaron Rai, South Africa's Dylan Frittelli and Ireland's Shane Lowry a further two shots back on four under after a 3 under par 69. "I rolled the ball nicely". Also in that group is Lee Westwood (69), a two-time victor at Sun City.

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"Everything's good, the game is on the money, and it is about as good as I have ever played", he said after his 68.

Li was in the throes of composing a scorching round when the wheels came off in the last four holes‚ which saw him drop four shots.

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel suffered similar misfortune on that hole and has slipped back to two-over.

Defending champion Branden Grace is also on three under, while Rory McIlroy is eight strokes off the pace after a one-under 71.

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