Friday, February 24, 2017

Local hero Fichardt leads Joburg Open

Darren Fichardt  (Getty Images)
Darren Fichardt (Getty Images)

Home favourite Darren Fichardt set the clubhouse target on day two of the Joburg Open after producing a second successive 66 for 11-under-par 132  at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
Play was halted when darkness fell with Englishman Paul Waring, who had a 65 in the first round, the overall leader at 12 under par with six holes still to play in his second round.
Similarly, South African Dean Burmester was 11 under par overall with 3 holes to play. He had a 66 in the first round.
The third day's play will start at 7am local time Saturday in a bid to get the second round completed and the cut figure decided so that the third and fourth round qualifiers can try to get back on schedule.
Fichardt carded an eagle, five birdies and a single bogey to open up a one-shot clubhouse lead over fellow South African Jacques Kruyswijk.
Fichardt was one of 98 players who had to complete their opening rounds on Friday morning after play was suspended due to a waterlogged course at 2.35pm local time on Thursday.
More rain overnight caused further delays on Friday, but when play finally got back under way at 9.30am, Fichardt fired two birdies in his final six holes on the West Course to get to five under and sit four shots behind overnight leader Paul Peterson.
There was no rest for the four-time European Tour winner, however, who dashed to the East Course to begin his second round.
Fichardt holed his five-foot birdie putt at the first before making further gains at the third and fourth to get to eight under.

The 41 year old picked up another shot at the sixth to join Peterson - an afternoon starter - at the top of the leaderboard, before a superb eagle at the eighth saw him establish a two-shot lead.
Fichardt dropped his first shot of the tournament so far at the tenth before safely parring the next seven holes.
But a birdie from close range at the last saw him get to 11 under.
Fichardt was thrilled with his performance on the front nine on the East Course.
He said: "I got off to a great start. I knew it was going to play long and I needed to get off to a good start and that I did.
"I got to six under pretty quickly - after eight I was six under so I was very happy about that start.

"Unfortunately I made a bogey on the tenth and then birdied the 18th, so I ended off well. But I am very happy with 66.
"I haven’t stumbled into this position. It’s been a lot of hard work and a lot of perseverance.
"I have been working hard the past seven weeks and I think it’s starting to pay off."
Kruyswijk, who fired an eagle and two birdies in the final six holes of his first round on Friday morning to close the gap on Peterson to a single shot, carded a bogey at the first at the East Course to drop back to seven under.
Six straight pars followed before Kruyswijk made the first birdie of his second round at the eighth.
The 24 year old made a superb start to his back nine, picking up shots at the tenth, 12th and 13th to climb to the top of the leaderboard.
Back-to-back bogeys at the 15th and 16th followed but his two-putt birdie at the last saw him head into the weekend on ten under.
Defending champion Haydn Porteous was among the group another shot back on nine under.
Afternoon starter Peterson carded a birdie and two bogeys in his first five holes at the East Course to fall back to eight under.

par 143 (72+71)
Players from South Africa unless stated otherwise
132 D Fichardt 63 70.
133 J Kruyswijk 63 70.
134 H Porteous 67 77, A Karlsson (Swe) 66 69, S Manley (Wales) 67 71, A Roi (Eng) 65 69

135 D Drysdale 64 71 (T10)
136 S Jamieson  69 67 (T14)
138 D Law 69 69 (T45)
139 D Stewart 72 67 (T59)
140 C Syme (am) 71569 (T86)

Field of 210 players



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