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Harrington basks in rainy Sun City

Padraig Harrington carded a six-under-par round of 66 to lead the Nedbank Golf Challenge by one stroke after a rain-affected first day at Sun City.

The Irishman fired seven birdies and had just one bogey blemish as he produced an excellent back nine to move ahead of English duo Ross Fisher and Lee Westwood, on five and four under respectively.

Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez was also on four under, with last year's winner Robert Allenby two shots back after shooting a one under 70, the same score as England's Justin Rose.

The South African contingent were slightly off the pace at the Gary Player Country Club with Ernie Els and Open champion Louis Oosthuizen on one under, along with Edoardo Molinari.

Earlier, Fisher was looking good for the overnight lead, but just as lightning and rain arrived to force a two-hour delay, he mis-hit his tee shot at the par-four 17th and ended with a double-bogey six.

He was on seven under before that, but then slipped to five under with Harrington making the most of the opening.

After the resumption, the three-time major winner sank a 12-foot putt for birdie on 15 to claim the lead.

He then had his only blemish of the round on 17, but a fine second shot out of the rough - the ball flew over the trees to within two feet of the cup - allowed him to birdie the last for a one-shot lead.

World number one Westwood had made a poor start to the day and was one over through six, before a turn in fortune helped him make headway up the leaderboard.

South African Retief Goosen and Dane Anders Hansen were on level par after 72s, while the 12-man line-up was propped up by Tim Clark's 73.


From Belfast Telegraph