Rory McIlroy: Four-time major victor unable to mount Nedbank charge

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

Branden Grace is "super excited" to be back at Sun City, and he is hopeful that he can become South Africa's first back-to-back victor of the Nedbank Golf Challenge since Ernie Els in 1999-2000.

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

South Africa's Charl Schwartzel is one of three second-placed players on four under, along with Finn Mikko Korhonen and Frenchman Mike Lorenzo-Vera. "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". Yesterday the wind felt like it was switching on a lot of holes, and you're looking up in the sky trying to figure it out. "When you can do that here, it's nice to be able to shoot a score like this".

Star attraction Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland could manage only a 71 at the Gary Player Country Club in northwestern South Africa, leaving him eight shots adrift of the 2017 Masters champion. "But it's great to come with some good momentum, playing nicely and in the lead. 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.

McIlroy's front nine was promising with three birdies offset by just a single bogey, at the par-four third when his ball plugged just below the lip of a greenside bunker. The driver let me down a couple of times which left me out of position and led to a couple of big numbers. "It's never easy, but I've done it before so hopefully I can do it again", said Grace.

PM's Brexit plans under pressure after Jo Johnson resignation and DUP warning
The Government has ruled out a second referendum. "I think a second referendum would be divisive, but it wouldn't be decisive". He added: 'This is one of the most momentous questions we will ever face in our political careers.

"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.

"If I can tidy that up tomorrow I should be alright, but obviously I'm pretty disappointed right now", said McIlroy.

"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". I probably wasn't swinging unbelievably, but I kept it under control.

Defending champion Branden Grace of South Africa opened with a 70.

Latest News