Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

After long break and safari, Max Homa shares lead at Nedbank Golf Challenge

SUN CITY, South Africa — After his longest break from golf and then time spent on safari, Max Homa felt anxious about the state of his game heading into the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

He needn’t have worried.

Homa holed a 16-foot birdie putt on No. 18 to shoot 6-under 66 on Thursday and join Nicolai Hojgaard, Dan Bradbury and Vincent Norrman in a share of the first-round lead in Sun City in the next-to-last event of the DP World Tour season.

The American was bogey-free around the Gary Player Golf and Country Club, which he barely knew after a shortened build-up that included a practice round on Tuesday being wiped out because of rain.

The No. 8-ranked Homa hasn’t played since the Ryder Cup in Rome that finished Oct. 1. His last stroke-play event was the Fortinet Championship in mid-September and he said Wednesday he would make it a priority to play more worldwide events going forward.

Norrman, a Swede with two wins since July, also had a bogey-free round containing six birdies while Bradbury rolled in a 75-foot putt for eagle at his last hole — No. 9 — to join the lead.

A year ago, Bradbury won the Joburg Open in South Africa for his first European tour title.

Hojgaard, who played against Homa at the Ryder Cup, had eight birdies and was the first to set the 6-under target at an event some label “Africa’s Major.”

Adrian Meronk, Ryo Hisatsune and Julien Guerrier were tied for fifth place, a shot off the lead, after 67s while Tommy Fleetwood — seeking a third straight win at the Nedbank — double-bogeyed the last after hitting his approach into the water and shot 71.

Like Homa, Justin Thomas received an invitation to play. He shot 72.