Garcia leads, Scrivener in mix at Sun City

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As Branden Grace handed the crystal trophy back to Nedbank Golf Challenge host Gary Player in a televised ceremony on Tuesday, he whispered to Player, "Hopefully we can keep it in South Africa again this week".

It is two-and-a-half years since the four-time major champion won his last European Tour title at the Irish Open.

Victory at Sun City would at least take the Northern Irishman to second on the money list and see him paired with Molinari for the opening round in Dubai, where players tee off in Race to Dubai order. "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 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, I made some good putts here and there.

"I drove the ball nicely, hit a lot of fairways and greens, but it just does not happen on this course that you are going to hit the ball to two feet every time". "I still could have got away with a bogey, but both my caddie and I completely misread the putt".

"You have to play the wind as you feel it because it is so inconsistent".

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"So I tried a bit too much and pushed it to the right".

"But overall it's been a consistent year. 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.

"It wouldn't have been the year that I would have envisioned at the start but you're not going to have those years every single year that you play".

Oosthuizen, the 2010 British Open champion, made two birdies and two bogeys to lead the home charge after a 72 while Westwood - victor here in 2010 and 2011 - signed for a 69.

However, despite not playing competitively since the Ryder Cup, Woods is ranked 13th in the world and one place ahead of Spieth, who fell to 14th after a tie for 55th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas. "It's always really good to be back here". "I can make adjustments to it", Spieth said.

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