Sunday, June 17, 2012


Report from Saint-Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC
By Sarah Gwynn
Alastair Forsyth was the highest placed Scot in the Saint-Omer Open presented by Neuflize OBC, despite struggling to a three over par 74 in the final round.
The 36 year old endured a nightmare start to the day, bogeying his opening five holes, and although four subsequent birdies helped restore some pride, he was disappointed to have finished tied 15th and not higher up the leaderboard.
“It was a shambles of a start,” said Forsyth. “You go out looking to finish in the top five which would’ve got me into the BMW International Open next week, but after four or five holes that’s gone out the window.
“You just have to keep plugging away, but my game’s not good enough at the moment, simple as that. I’m dropping crazy shots and it’s becoming very frustrating.”
Fellow Scots Raymond Russell (73), Lloyd Saltman (71), Craig Lee (73) and Chris Doak (75) finished tied 23rdtied 36th, tied 50th and tied 62nd respectively.
South African Darren Fichardt withstood another day of high winds and the challenge of English duo Simon Wakefield and Gary Lockerbie to claim his third European Tour title
Having started the day five shots clear of his nearest rival, Fichardt’s two over par round of 73 was enough to seal the victory at five under, three strokes ahead of Lockerbie, who signed for a 69, and four from Wakefield, who bogeyed the last for a 72.
It became something of a three-horse race on the final day at Aa Saint Omer Golf Club, which was battered by strong winds over the weekend, as the trio were the only players to finish under par for the tournament.
Fichardt’s lead was down to two at one point when he bogeyed the third to Wakefield’s birdie, but a double bogey for the Englishman at the fifth and four more bogeys on the back nine put paid to his challenge.
Lockerbie birdied the 16th and 17th to make a late charge, which ultimately proved good enough for second place on his own as Wakefield could not get up and down from the back of the green at the 18th.
Fichardt admitted there were “no heroics” in his round, and he was just grateful to hang on for the win.
“It was messy today,” said the 37 year old. “It definitely wasn’t pretty. I was absolutely terrified and I was happy we didn’t have to play any more holes.
“To win is awesome. The last four years I’ve had injuries and missed out at the Qualifying School a couple of times, and you wonder if you’ll ever make it back. So it was amazing to get my card last year back at Q School, and to win on my ninth start this season is a dream come true. The exemption for next season is very welcome.”
Fichardt won the 2001 Sao Paulo Brazil Open and the 2003 Qatar Masters and played in the 2000 World Cup alongside Retief Goosen, and he drew on his vast experience to see out the victory in France.
“I’ve been in the lead before going into the final round, so I was familiar with the feeling,” he said. “But this golf course has a lot of trouble, and if you try and play safe you can just end up in even more trouble, so I was happy to get the job done in the end.
“I was struggling with the lines and pace of putts on the greens, and my club selection was out today, but in the end I got it round and made a few good putts to save par.”
Lockerbie was delighted with his finish, saying: “I haven’t had much luck in the past here, so this is a welcome change. I knew Darren would have to have a complete disaster for anyone else to win, but I knew second place was up for grabs and I’m very pleased I was able to finish well.
“This tournament is like a Major for the Challenge Tour so I’m delighted with my performance.”
Aa Saint Omer Golf Club, Lumbres, France
Par 284 (4x71)
279 Darren Fichardt (SAf) 68 69 69 73.
282 Gary Lockerbie (Eng) 69 75 69 69
283 Simon Wakefield (Eng) 67 72 72 72
286 Charlie Ford (Eng) 74 69 73 70, Adam Gee (Eng) 67 72 75 72, Pelie Edberg (Swe) 70 72 72 72, Wil Besseling (Net) 71 69 73 73
287 Bjorn Akesson (Swe) 75 72 70 70, Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 73 72 71 71, James Heath (Eng) 71 70 74 72.
288 Justin Walters (SAf) 73 68 77 70, Chris Paisley (Eng) 71 76 72 69, Simon Thornton (Ire) 71 69 75 73, Mark Tullo (Chile) 78 68 67 75.

289 Alastair Forsyth 69 72 74 74 (T15)
290 Raymond Russell 68 75 74 73 (T23)
292 Lloyd Saltman 70 74 77 71 (T36)
294 Craig Lee 72 72 77 73 (T50)
296 Chris Doak 75 72 74 75 (T62)
MISSED THE CUT (147 and better qualified)
148 Callum Macaulay 73 75
159 Scott Henry 75 75.
Retired: Steven O'Hara (during first round), Andrew McArthur 76 ret, Jamie McLeary 81 ret.



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