Sunday, February 26, 2017

S African Fichardt wins three-round Joburg

Open with last-hole birdie

Darren Fichardt - the 2017 Joburg Open Champion  (Getty Images)
Darren Fichardt - the 2017 Joburg Open Champion (Getty Images)

Home favourite Darren Fichardt held his nerve to win the weather-affected Joburg Open and claim his fifth European Tour title at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club, South Africa.
The South African fired a birdie at the last in his third and final round to post a four-under-par 68 and finish one shot clear of nearest challengers Stuart Manley (Wales) and Paul Waring (England).
Manley had set the clubhouse target on 14 under par, courtesy of a third-successive round of 67, with Waring producing a closing 69 to join him in a share of second place.
By finishing in the top three, Fichardt, Manley and Waring all secured spots in this summer's 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in July.
The tournament was reduced to 54 holes after thunder, lightning and subsequent course flooding forced play to be abandoned before the leaders had started their third rounds on Saturday afternoon.
There was another two-hour delay before play resumed on Sunday morning but South African Fichardt, who began his third round tied at the top of the leaderboard alongside Waring, started brightly when he finally teed off.

The 41 year old notched birdies at the first, sixth and eighth to get to 14 under.
Fichardt rolled in his six-foot birdie putt at the 12th to join Jacques Kruyswijk at the summit, but after his countryman carded a disappointing double bogey at the 14th, Fichardt saved par at the same hole to sit two shots clear of his nearest challengers.
Fichardt's lead was cut to a single stroke when Waring and Manley picked up shots at the 16th and 18th respectively.
He dropped into a share of the lead when he carded his only bogey of the day at the 17th after narrowly missing his tricky par putt.
But Fichardt bounced back with a close-range birdie at the last to return to 15 under and secure victory.



206 David Drysdale 64 71 71 (T23)
208 David Law 69 69 70, Marc Warren 68 69 71 (T50)
209 Duncan Stewart 72 67 70 (T60)
212 Scott Jamieson 69 67 76 (T83)



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