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Garcia takes lead at somber Sun City

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GERALD IMRAY | December 6, 2013 05:20 AM EST | AP


SUN CITY, South Africa (AP) — The putt celebrations were muted and the crowd a little quiet. The skies over Sun City fittingly gray.

A somber mood hung over South Africa's first major sporting event since Nelson Mandela's death as Sergio Garcia, wearing a black ribbon like the rest of the 30-man field, shot a 6-under 66 to lead after the weather-delayed first round of the Nedbank Golf Challenge on Friday.

In the early morning, golfers stood, some with caps removed, for a moment's silence before the first round restarted after being halted because of lightning on Thursday. Flags drooped to half-staff around the Gary Player Country Club.

Ernie Els says "it is going to be a tough day for the whole country."