Darren Fichardt continues home dominance at Joburg Open

Closing 68 helps South African claim one-shot victory in rain-affected event

Darren Fichardt of South Africa holds the trophy as he celebrates winning The Joburg Open  at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Darren Fichardt of South Africa holds the trophy as he celebrates winning The Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

 

South Africa’s Darren Fichardt held his nerve to win a fifth European Tour title and continue home dominance of the Joburg Open, which had been reduced to 54 holes due to bad weather.

Fichardt carded a closing 68 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to finish 15 under par, a shot ahead of England’s Paul Waring and Welshman Stuart Manley.

Manley had birdied the final two holes to complete a third consecutive 67 and set a clubhouse target which looked like setting up a playoff after Fichardt dropped his first shot of the day on the 17th.

However, the 41-year-old from Pretoria then produced a superb pitch from just short of the 18th green to set up a certain birdie and when Waring’s birdie attempt agonisingly lipped out, Fichardt tapped in to become the eighth home winner in 11 editions of the event.

The top three had the added bonus of sealing a place in the British Open at Royal Birkdale via the Open Qualifying Series, with James Morrison, Brandon Stone and Jacques Kruyswijk finishing in a tie for fourth.

Kruyswijk held the outright lead after his sixth birdie of the day on the 11th, only to run up a double bogey on the 14th after finding a water hazard with his second shot.

Ireland’s Paul Dunne finished in a share of 23rd spot on nine under after carding a three-under 69 in his third and final round.

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