Garcia’s lead in Sun City cut to 1 by Oosthuizen

South Africa's Erik Van Rooyen

Sergio García leads the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

"My first year on the European Tour gave me a lot of golf learning experiences, a lot of great finishes", he said about his year which will give him plenty of confidence coming to this week at Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.

"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. Also in that group is Lee Westwood (69), a two-time victor at Sun City. "I think I played very smart, I probably 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".

"This tricky wind moved all over the place, and on one hole you could have three or four different winds". "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". "But it's great to come with some good momentum, playing nicely and in the lead".

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

He also birdied the first two holes and ended with a tally of seven birdies, offset by bogeys on two of the four par-threes.

But after birdieing the par-four 13th, the four-time major victor twice drove into the bushes, leading to sixes at the par-five 14th and the par-four 17th.

"I'm pretty happy with the round", Oosthuizen told reporters. The driver let me down a couple of times which left me out of position and led to a couple of big numbers.

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He was by no means the only player to struggle on the 15th though as 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel (78) needed nine shots to complete the hole.

"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.

"Yeah, it's what I'm feel comfortable with. 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".

"It was good the first few holes today, but I was very scrappy on the way in. It's never easy, but I've done it before so hopefully I can do it again".

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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.

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