After a moment of silence at Gary Player Country Club in Sun City honored former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday, Sergio Garcia wrapped up the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge by taking the lead.
In the second round, however, Jamie Donaldson surpassed Garcia to take a three-shot lead into the weekend.
“I’ve played very nicely for the first two rounds and hit a lot of good shots so I am happy with the way I am playing. We had to play six holes of the first round and then back out after a 45-minute break for the second, so it’s been a long day.”
The course’s namesake, as well as Ernie Els, spoke fondly of Mandela early Friday in Sun City, and the European and Sunshine tours announced plans to move up next week’s Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban to a Wednesday-Saturday schedule in order to play four rounds before the state funeral Sunday, Dec. 15.
Play at the Nedbank continued, nonetheless. Donaldson built his lead with a 66 that featured seven birdies against just one bogey – an unusual bogey, at that, as his shot from a fairway bunker at the par-5 10th hole struck the lip of the bunker and then Donaldson’s club to cause a penalty. Donaldson laid up with his fourth shot, then got up and down from 150 yards.
“These bizarre things happen and you just have to get on with it,” said Donaldson, who won his second European Tour title in Abu Dhabi in January and finished fifth in the 2013 Race to Dubai. “In the end it was a good six!”
The European Tour’s 2013 Race to Dubai winner, Henrik Stenson, shot 67 to tie for second with Ryan Moore, who had the low number of the round with a 65. Garcia shot 73 to fall six shots off the lead.