In-form Fichardt feels right at home

2/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Darren Fichardt - Africa Open Winner 2013  (Getty Images)
Darren Fichardt - Africa Open Winner 2013 (Getty Images)
Darren Fichardt has targeted back-to-back European Tour victories in his native South Africa at this week’s Tshwane Open, which takes place in his home town of Centurion.

In his last European Tour appearance at the Africa Open in East London, Fichardt captured his fourth Tour title after holding off his compatriot Jaco Van Zyl and Frenchman Grégory Bourdy to prevail by two strokes.  

Fichardt followed up that victory with a top ten finish behind Van Zyl in last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour, and so is understandably confident of continuing his fine form at the inaugural Tshwane Open.

This week’s €1.5million event, which is co-sanctioned by The European and Sunshine Tours, will be played at the Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate, in Centurion, a course and indeed area Fichardt knows only too well.        

The 37 year old was born in nearby Pretoria and currently lives in Centurion, and is hoping to use his local knowledge to his advantage as he seeks to make it five South African victories in ten events on The 2013 European Tour International Schedule.

He said: “It’s great to have a European Tour event in my home town. There’s been a really nice swing of tournaments in South Africa, so hopefully I can finish it off nicely. I’m sure all the guys are really going to enjoy playing at Copperleaf. It’s designed by Ernie and is in very good condition, especially the greens which are unbelievable. It’s also very long, so to have a good week you’re going to need your driver to perform well.

“As it’s quite an exposed course, there’s normally a little bit of wind to keep you on your toes. It’s definitely going to be hot and humid and with a pretty high chance of some thunderstorms, so there could be a few weather disruptions. But I’m sure it’s going to be a great week and I’ll have some friends and family coming along, so hopefully I can give them something to shout about.”