Rory McIlroy struggles as Sergio Garcia leads way in South Africa

Victory at Sun City would at least take Rory Mc Ilroy to second on the money list

Victory at Sun City would at least take Rory Mc Ilroy to second on the money list

Sergio Garcia's four-shot lead was cut to just one as he managed only a one-under 71 in the second round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

Garcia extended his lead to five shots with birdies at the first two holes but had to sign for a one-under-par 71 after three bogeys in the last six holes at Sun City.

Garcia is seeking a third Nedbank title but first since 2003.

South African Oosthuizen is his nearest challenger as he seeks a first win at a tournament he has long coveted, with Finland's Mikko Korhonen (70) three shots back.

Rory McIlroy's mission to hit the jackpot in Sun City and so give himself a fighting chance of lifting a fourth Race to Dubai crown next week suffered a poor start as he fell eight behind runaway pacesetter Sergio Garcia.

The 38-year-old, who is going for a second consecutive win, having triumphed at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters last month, said in quotes on the European Tour website yesterday: "It felt great".

"I wouldn't say it was a frustrating back nine‚" said a pragmatic Garcia. But he was still solid overall on a course with lightning-fast greens and a series of pins tucked away in the corners. "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 doesn't work like that".

"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. A further stroke back on 69 was a group of six players, which included SA's 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.

His 67 was matched by Dylan Frittelli, one of four players tied for fourth.

England's Ross Fisher blazed his way eight-under for the round but came unstuck on the par-four 15th where he carded a nine.

McIlroy missed the fairway off the tee on 17 and then found a bunker. The West Waterford man (31) added a three-over 74 to his opening 72, racking up a quadruple-bogey eight at his ninth hole, the 18th, to finish well down the leaderboard on four-over at El Camaleon Golf Club.

The Spaniard shrugged his shoulders with an air of resignation when asked about the frustrations he encountered on the back nine that saw him drop shots on the 13th‚ 16th and the 18th holes.

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