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Stenson goes five clear in Nedbank Challenge

  • Story Highlights
  • Sweden's Henrik Stenson leads after first round of $4.38m Nedbank Challenge
  • In-form Stenson cards a nine-under-par 63 on Gary Player course at Sun City
  • South Africa's Rory Sabbatini is his nearest challenger following a round of 68
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(CNN) -- In-form Swede Henrik Stenson leads the lucrative Nedbank Challenge in South Africa after a first round nine-under 63 at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City.

Stenson powered five strokes clear with a superb opening 63 at Sun City.

Stenson partnered European number one Robert Karlsson as Sweden won last week's World Cup of Golf in China and has maintained his fine play in South Africa.

Stenson raced home in just 31 shots to take a five-shot lead over home hope Rory Sabbatini with England's Lee Westwood in third place after a round of 70.

Karlsson dropped three shots on the back nine to be tied for fourth in a six-strong group.

England's Luke Donald, returning after a wrist injury which saw him miss the Ryder Cup, is also on this mark, with U.S. Masters winner Trevor Immelman, Spain's Sergio Garcia, KJ Choi and James Kingston.

U.S. Ryder Cup hero Kenny Perry and England's Justin Rose are on 73 with Miguel Angel Jimenez last in the elite 12-man invitational field after a 75.

The players are competing for a prize purse of $4.385 million in the annual event.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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