Darren Fichardt (Getty Images)
There was still no separating compatriots Darren Fichardt and Jaco Van Zyl during the early stages of the Africa Open final round at East London Golf Club.
The pair began the final round tied on 15 under par, two clear of the field, and both completed regulation pars at the first.
Van Zyl – chasing his first European Tour victory after 12 top-ten finishes – 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 to leave the pair level once more on 17 under par.
The South African duo – looking to make it a fourth straight victory for the home nation in this event after Major Champions Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen won the last three stagings – were three clear of the rest of the field.
France’s Grégory Bourdy had taken up the pursuit with a 25 foot eagle at the third to reach 14 under.
Fichardt went ahead with a 20 foot birdie effort on the seventh, and turned two clear after Van Zyl bogeyed the testing ninth.