sport

Garcia leads at sombre Nedbank

Sergio Garcia claimed a narrow lead after the delayed first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge was completed in Sun City on Friday.

Garcia carded a six-under-par 66 to lead by one shot from fellow Spaniard Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn and Wales' Jamie Donaldson, with Luke Donald and local favourite Charl Schwartzel a shot further back.

Donald had led on five under after 11 holes when play was abandoned for the day on Thursday after a second thunderstorm hit the course, the former world number one having raced to the turn in 31 with an eagle and three birdies.

The 35-year-old was unable to maintain such form when play resumed at 7:30am local time on Friday, the players observing a minute's silence and wearing black ribbons as a mark of respect following the death of former South African president Nelson Mandela.

A bogey on the 16th was Donald's only deviation from par, allowing Ryder Cup team-mate Garcia to take over at the top of the leaderboard thanks to a strong finish.

Garcia had been one over par after six holes, but picked up seven birdies in his next 11 holes to boost his chances of winning the title for a third time.

Thursday's delays meant the players were soon back on the course in an attempt to get back on schedule, with Donaldson surging to the top of the leaderboard.

Birdies on the first, second, fourth and eighth took Donaldson to nine under par and four shots clear of Bjorn as Garcia faltered with bogeys at the third and fifth.