Fichardt wins Saint-Omer Open
Saint-Omer, France - South Africa's Darren Fichardt captured his third European Tour title on Sunday when he won the Saint-Omer Open by three shots.
Fichardt had started the final round five shots clear and braved high winds on the final day to card a two over par 73 to seal the victory at five under.
Gary Lockerbie, who signed for a 69, was three behind, with fellow Englishman Simon Wakefield, who bogeyed the last for a 72, four off the lead.
"It was messy today," said 37-year-old Fichardt. "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 Qualifying 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 fellow South African Retief Goosen, and he drew on his vast experience to see out victory on Sunday.
"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."
Leading final round scores in the Saint Omer Open, Lumbres, France on Sunday (GBR and IRL unless stated, par 71):
279 - Darren Fichardt (RSA) 68-69-69-73
282 - Gary Lockerbie 69-75-69-69
283 - Simon Wakefield 67-72-72-72
286 - Wil Besseling (NED) 71-69-73-73, Adam Gee 67-72-75-72, Charlie Ford 74-69-73-70, Pelle Edberg (SWE) 70-72-72-72
287 - James Heath 71-70-74-72, Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 73-72-71-71, Bjorn Akesson (SWE) 75-72-70-70
288 - Mark Tullo (CHI) 78-68-67-75, Justin Walters (RSA) 73-68-77-70, Simon Thornton 71-69-75-73, Chris Paisley 71-76-72-69
289 - Chris Gane 73-73-71-72, Kim Sihwan (KOR) 67-69-81-72, Michael Lorenzo-Vera (FRA) 75-71-72-71, Carlos Aguilar (ESP) 72-73-73-71, Daniel Brooks 76-69-71-73, Alastair Forsyth 69-72-74-74, Christophe Brazillier (FRA) 77-69-75-68, Alexandre Kaleka (FRA) 71-75-73-70
291 - Berry Henson (USA) 69-74-77-71
293 - Shiv Kapur (IND) 73-74-75-71
294 - Matthew Zions (AUS) 73-72-72-77, Jason Knutzon (USA) 73-71-79-71
303 - David McKenzie (AUS) 76-70-78-79