Durban - Darren Fichardt seized opportunities when they came to shoot seven-under-par and take hold of an early five-stroke lead in round two of the Suncoast Classic at Durban Country Club on Friday.
Fichardt opened the R500,000 event with a decent 70, but really shone on day two and signed for his 65 to closed the day at nine-under-par, five strokes clear of Steven Ferreira and Justin Walters.
“It’s fairways and greens, and I made the putts I needed to make,” said Fichardt.
The 36-year-old finished the 2010 Suncoast Classic tied for fifth, and his knowledge of Durban Country Club paid off. “This is the type of course where you must not become greedy. You have to just play the hole as it was built and not try to overpower it,” he said.
Windy conditions have persisted since yesterday, yet Fichardt went round without carding a bogey. “I thought the wind was perfect out there, the scoreable holes were downwind, and the holes which played into the wind were the ones where I needed the ball to stop,” he said.
An 11-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, Fichardt stuck to his strategy and only took opportunities when they came. “You don’t go out and push it, you just keep playing your game,” he said.
Fichardt carded birdies at the third, sixth and eighth to finish the front nine in 33 strokes before turning at three-under-par.
He followed a birdie at the 10th with a further pair at the 13th and 14th, the latter of which marked success at every par five on the course. “I have been hitting the ball really well and taking iron on the par-fives, and today I was rewarded,” said Fichardt.
Steven Ferreira added a 69 to his opening 71 and closed day two at four-under-par after a start on the back nine. He looked set to card 67, but marred his round with a double-bogey at the eighth before joining Justin Walters at four-under-par.
Walters shot a solid 68 to close the round five shots back from the lead.
Fichardt plans keep with his strategy in the final round tomorrow, and should he continue to dominate will set a real challenge for those aiming to catch him.
-9 (135) Darren Fichardt 70,65
-4 (140) Justin Walters 72,68 ; S Ferreira 71,69
-3 (141) Ulrich van den Berg 71,70 ; Andre Cruze 69,72
-2 (142) Doug McGuigan 72,70 ; Michiel Bothma 72,70
-1 (143) Toto Thimba, Jnr 73,70 ; Vaughn Groenewald 73,70 ; Des Terblanche 74,69 ; Alex Haindl 70,73
Par (144) Martin Maritz 71,73 ; Theunis Spangenberg 72,72 ; Jacques Blaauw 71,73 ; Daniel Greene 72,72