Bogey on 18 cuts Garcia's lead at Nedbank Golf Challenge

12 November, 2018, 15:56 | Author: Greg Lawrence
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Cape Town - Erik van Rooyen has dreamed of playing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge since he was a child, and he gets his chance on the back of a year of solid performances in his debut season on the European Tour.

SHANE LOWRY MADE headway this afternoon at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa after a second-round 69 left him five shots off leader, Sergio Garcia.

Lee Westwood shares third place on seven under with Belgian Thomas Detry and Mikko Korhonen of Finland.

"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 feel like I played quite well". These are the rounds you take a lot of positive out; if you don't play well and you're still in it to win.

"It's going to be tough, there's no doubt about that", Garcia said.

"After eight I had a good run at a few holes".

In contrast, Paul Dunne struggled to a six-over 78 as McIlroy got little reward for a moment of honesty at the 14th as he carded an ultimately disappointing level-par 72.

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He started his round with birdies on two and three, and with home favourite Oosthuizen seeming ill at ease with his game on the day and making pars all the way until he dropped a shot on the seventh, his lead looked secure.

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. Unfortunately, the putts didn't want to drop but at the end of the day, shooting under par, still in the lead, I'm happy with that.

"I'm going to need some great golf over the next two weeks, but we'll see what happens this week".

In nine previous appearances at Sun City, 2011 Masters champion Schwartzel has had five top-10 finishes, including being runner-up to German Martin Kaymer in 2012.

"It's a tournament I've always wanted to play as a kid, and I came here plenty of times with the family to watch", van Rooyen said.

And it vindicated the 45-year-old's decision to rule himself out of the running to be Europe's Ryder Cup captain in 2020 as he targets a record-equalling 11th appearance in the contest as a player instead at Whistling Straits.

"It was very hard this morning, the wind was blowing a lot and the first few holes were straight into it". "Didn't hit many good shots, really".

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