• EN
  • DE
  • FR
  • ES
  • JP
Sunday, 17 February 2013
Darren Fichardt   (Getty Images)
Darren Fichardt (Getty Images)

Related Content

Darren Fichardt overcame some late jitters to seal a fourth European Tour title at the Africa Open and ensure the trophy remained in South African hands for another year.

The 37 year old began the final round tied at the top of the leaderboard with compatriot Jaco Van Zyl, and there was initially no separating the pair until Fichardt pulled four shots clear around the turn.

Three bogeys in four holes left the door open for Van Zyl, but he was unable to take full advantage and Fichardt’s one under par 71 and 16 under total gave him a two shot victory over Van Zyl and France’s Grégory Bourdy.

It represented a fourth straight victory for the home nation, after Charl Schwartzel (2010) and fellow Major Champion Louis Oosthuizen (2011 and 2012) won the first three stagings.

Both players in the final group completed regulation birdies at the first, and it was Van Zyl, chasing his first European Tour victory after 12 top-ten finishes, who stole an advantage at the short second when he holed his birdie putt from off the green.

His lead was short lived, however, as Fichardt picked up a shot at the par five third and then went ahead for the first time with a 20 foot birdie effort on the seventh.

He turned two clear after Van Zyl bogeyed the testing ninth, and went three ahead as his playing partner duffed his chip at the 12th and failed to get up and down.

Fichardt, whose last European Tour title came in St Omer last season, looked to have the race sewn up when he holed a 20 footer for birdie at the 13th.

However, he three-putted the next, played a poor approach to the 16th and missed a six footer on the 17th as his lead eroded to a single shot.

A poor tee shot at the last followed, but after Van Zyl missed the green he hit a brilliant second over trees and into the heart of the green.

“I started losing focus,” admitted Fichardt after lifting the trophy. “I was four shots ahead and I started taking it for granted. 

“I was putting unbelievable and then I missed a short putt at the 14th and thought ‘what’s going on here?’

“This is one of my favourite tournaments. The golf course is second to none – you’ve got to hit a lot of knock down shots and irons off the tee.

"I always enjoy coming here, and obviously winning the tournament makes the week especially enjoyable.”

Bourdy briefly threatened to challenge when he sunk a 25 foot eagle putt at the third, but two bogeys and eight pars in his next ten holes ended his title hopes, before a late flurry of birdies earned him a share of the runner-up spot when Van Zyl failed to get up-and-down at the last.

Get Adobe Flash player

Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FICHARDT, DarrenRSA18-16
T2BOURDY, GrégoryFRA18-14
T2VAN ZYL, JacoRSA18-14
4MULROY, GarthRSA18-13
T5SULLIVAN, AndyENG18-11
T5BOTES, DesvondeRSA18-11
R2D Fantasy

European Tour Partners

  • BMW
  • Emirates
  • UPS
  • Rolex

European Tour Sponsors

  • Club Car

    Media Centre

    Official Partner

    Official Suppliers

    This website is © The PGA European Tour 1997 - 2014. PGA European Tour, Wentworth Drive, Virginia Water, Surrey, GU25 4LX. Registered in England No. 1867610.
    All rights reserved. No reproduction, distribution or transmission of any information, part or parts of this website by any means whatsoever is permitted without the prior written permission of the PGA European Tour.