SUN CITY, South Africa (Reuters) - Henrik Stenson overcame a bout of illness to share the lead with South African Jaco van Zyl after the first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Thursday.
The 39-year-old Swede posted five birdies in his opening nine holes to set the early pace but was tentative with the putter on the back nine and added just one more birdie to his scorecard.
Stenson, a previous winner of the tournament dubbed ‘Africa’s Major’, had felt poorly since arriving at Sun City but it did not show it as he carded a 66.
Van Zyl, 36, also hit six birdies in a flawless round.
Defending champion Danny Willet of England missed a birdie chance on the 18th hole for a tie of the lead and finished five-under-par with a 67.
Australian Marc Leishman and home favorite Branden Grace are on four-under.
The 30-man field benefited from rain earlier in the day, which took the edge off the hot conditions in South Africa’s North West province, which characterized the days before the tournament start.
(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by xx; firstname.lastname@example.org; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: email@example.com)