The Spaniard leads by four over South African Charl Schwartzel, Finland’s Mikko Korhonen and Mike Vera Lorenzo of France but just one shot further back is a large group that includes Australian Jason Scrivener.
Scrivener also started well at last week’s Turkish Airlines Open before a perhaps disappointing weekend saw him finish 23rd but with the carrot of a start at next week’s season ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai still available to him with a good finish this week he has a lot still to play for.
He likely needs a finish inside the top 8 if he is to be on the plane to Dubai on Monday and his encouraging start leaves the door open.
Scrivener, who would otherwise have been defending his NSW Open title in Sydney this week, gained a late start at Sun City and he has made a great attempt to take full advantage.
Scrivener began well with three birdies in his opening 6 holes and while not able to build further on the start he continues to perform well.
Garcia was not about to get ahead of himself as he eyes a potential third win of 2018 having won in Singapore in January and the Andalucia Masters in late October.
“It's nice, but it's still the first day,” he said. “There's still a lot of golf to be played and a lot of tough days to come around. Obviously it's nice to start like that, I'm not going to lie, but there's still a lot of golf to be played."
Garcia has played well at Sun City in the past including when winning earlier in his career when not a European Tour title and so likes the golf course.
"Yeah, it's what I'm feel comfortable with. I hit a couple draws here and there but more than anything, just the shot that I'm feeling comfortable with.
“Like I said earlier, it's very important to keep the ball in play as much as possible here and that's what I was trying to do when I didn't feel comfortable with the driver, because if it got too narrow, I hit something less than that and tried to play the hole maybe a little bit tougher and realise those things. It worked out well.”
Pre tournament favourite Rory McIlroy struggled to an even par round of 70.
Wade Ormsby is the only other Australian to play the event and is 31st following his opening 73 while Herbert is 58th after a round of 76.
New Zealand’s Ryan Fox however has made a good start with a round of 69 to be 2 under and in 11th place.
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