Day one digest: Nedbank Golf Challenge 

Everything you need to know from day one at Gary Player Country Club.

Gary Player CC

King Louis conquered kidney complaints, the Big Easy made it look just that and the wildlife had free rein on day one of the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player.

Here is everything you need to know from Thursday at the seventh Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai.

Louis keeps rolling despite stones

At 3.00am Thursday morning Louis Oosthuizen was on his knees in his hotel room having spent some of the previous day in hospital - 12 hours later he had carded a 63 to lead by three. Beware the injured golfer they say and nobody proved that saying better than the 2010 Open Champion, who overcame kidney stones for his first bogey free round at Gary Player Country Club in his 33rd attempt. "Considering that at 3.00am this morning I didn't think I was going to tee it up, I'm very chuffed with that round," he said. "I spent a bit of time in the hospital in Rustenburg and this morning was just a little niggly but I went up to the range, hit a few shots and it didn't really bother me. It was more the walking fast that got it so I just slowed everything down and worked nicely." It certainly did.

Home heroes have their moment

South Africa has produced some of the best players in golfing history and on Thursday morning the two dominant home heroes of their generations were on the first tee. This week's host Gary Player has nine Major Championships and is part of that exclusive club with a career grand slam while Ernie Els has four Majors as part of an incredible 28 European Tour wins. Just after 7.00am the home fans paid tribute to these two greats of the game.

Speaking of Ernie........

The Big Easy rolls back the years

Els is a three time winner of this event but even he admitted he was not expecting to open his 2019 tilt with a 68. At 50 years of age, he could be focusing on Seniors golf and could even be forgiven for being distracted ahead of captaining the Internationals at the Presidents Cup next month. Instead he made four birdies and no bogeys and will head into Friday right in the mix. "I'm pretty happy with 68," he said. "I didn't quite expect that. I haven't played too much golf recently. I really came here with a plan to try and get a swing going, which I kind of did. I had a nice swing thought today and putted quite nice. I just went on memory, going around the golf course where I used to hit the ball. Today was a good day."

Putting perfection

The greens at Gary Player Country Club are in perfect condition and they are very, very fast. Not that that is a problem for Kurt Kitayama.

Or Lee Westwood.

Over to Kikuyu

As for the Iceman, he doesn't even need a putter.

The mongooses take over

I think we can let this video speak for itself. How can you not love Africa?

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