On an opening day in South Africa where less than half the field shot under par, Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger holds the lead at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City.
After two late bogeys on the front nine saw Wiesberger at even par at the turn, he rattled of six birdies on the back nine to shoot a 5-under 67. Wiesberger is in pursuit of his second win of the year after defeating Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood in a playoff back in April at the Shenzhen International.
He has a one-stroke lead over a quartet of players not in contention for the Race to Dubai title – Julian Suri, Branden Grace, Scott Jamieson and Victor Dubuisson.
American Suri, 57th in the Dubai standings, birdied four of his first 10 holes to hit a 68. Grace who received huge support from his home crowd, was 2-over through four, then hit four birdies and an eagle on No. 14 to reach 4-under unconventionally. Grace is 34th in the Dubai standings.
Scotland’s Jamieson, 75th in thes tandings, was at 5-under through 17 before bogeying No. 18 . France’s Dubuisson birdied the first two holes on the day and had three more birdies mixed with a bogey on the back nine.
Defending champion Alex Noren is one of four players tied for sixth at 3-back, along with native son Charl Schwartzel. Sitting eighth in the Race to Dubai standings, Noren could do very well for himself with a repeat victory.
Fleetwood, who could claim the Race to Dubai title with a victory this weekend, shot a lackluster 1-over 73, hitting just two birdies on the day.