SUN CITY, South Africa — Sergio Garcia flew into a four-shot lead after the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge with an 8-under 64 on Thursday for the biggest opening-round advantage on the European Tour in a year.

Garcia, twice a winner in Sun City before the Nedbank Challenge became part of the tour, made eight birdies and was bogey-free in a brilliant start to the penultimate tournament of the season.

The Spaniard was clear of three players who shot 4-under 68s: Charl Schwartzel, Mike Lorenzo-Vera, and Mikko Korhonen.

Rory McIlroy, who is one of five players in with a chance of being crowned European No. 1 at the end of the season, started with a level-par 72 after a double-bogey six on his second-to-last hole.

Li Haotong, who can also win the Race to Dubai, carded a 1-under 71.


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