Sports

Sergio Garcia leads as somber Sun City remembers Nelson Mandela

  • File - In this Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 file photo,  South African Ernie Els tees off the 9th hole during the first round of the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Els says he is considering cutting his golf schedule even more to spend time with his family, it was announced on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2103. The four-time major winner has already slowed down over the past few years, playing 19 tournaments on the PGA Tour and only seven European Tour events last season. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

    File - In this Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013 file photo, South African Ernie Els tees off the 9th hole during the first round of the HSBC Champions golf tournament at the Sheshan International Golf Club in Shanghai, China. Els says he is considering cutting his golf schedule even more to spend time with his family, it was announced on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2103. The four-time major winner has already slowed down over the past few years, playing 19 tournaments on the PGA Tour and only seven European Tour events last season. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • This file photo from 1994 shows Nelson Mandela.  Mandela, the former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who waged a long and ultimately victorious struggle against apartheid, died on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, South African President Jacob Zuma said. He was 95. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt, File)

    This file photo from 1994 shows Nelson Mandela. Mandela, the former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who waged a long and ultimately victorious struggle against apartheid, died on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, South African President Jacob Zuma said. He was 95. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt, File)  (The Associated Press)

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."