Golf

Fichardt wins Suncoast Classic

2011-10-22 15:08
Darren Fichardt (Gallo)
Durban - Darren Fichardt has been dominant throughout the week and shot a final-round 68 to win the Suncoast Classic by six strokes at Durban Country Club on Saturday.

Fichardt took his 12th Sunshine Tour victory after closing the R500 000 event at 13-under-par, six shots clear of runner-up Ulrich van den Berg.

“I made it a little hard for myself in the beginning, but when it got closer I managed to get back into my gameplan and I came through with a six-stroke victory, which is nice,” said Fichardt.

He began the event with a first-round 70, carded 65 on day two, and with his final-round 68 tallied 203 strokes over 54 holes.

“Before the tournament I had time off and I worked on my swing. A week later I have a trophy in my hands and I’m very excited about it,” said Fichardt.

His Durban win made for a fantastic start to the summer season. “This was the start of a six-week stretch for me, after that I have a week off and then it’s final stage European Tour QSchool. It’s a good way to start,” he said.

Durban Country Club has hosted the SA Open 16 times and presented a real challenge. “This course tests every facet of your game, and there is not one thing that can be weak, although my chipping wasn’t that great today,” said Fichardt.

Fichardt opened the final day with a birdie, but wobbled soon after and carded bogeys at the third and fourth.

He recovered well with birdies at the fifth, sixth and eighth before dropping a further shot at the ninth to make the turn at one-under-par.

The 36-year-old continued to struggle and bogeyed the 11th, but regained his rhythm at the par-five 14th, found the cup in four strokes and returned to one-under.

He stretched his lead when he took a hybrid into the par-three 15th and one-putted for his sixth birdie of the day.

Fichardt carded birdie at the par-four 17th before shooting his final birdie of the day at the 18th. “To walk down the final hole with a five-stroke lead is amazing,” he said.

Van den Berg shot 35 on the front nine after bogeys at the sixth and ninth hampered his charge, but went on to card a further four birdies on the back stretch and sign for 68.

He would drop at the 17th, but recovered with a birdie at the 18th and took sole possession of second, one stroke clear of Alex Haindl, Allan Versfeld and Warren Abery, who shared third at six-under-par.

Fichardt played solid golf to take his 12th win, but has his sights set on reaching 15 career victories.

With five upcoming events may well move closer to that goal.

LEADING FINAL-ROUND SCORES

203 - Darren Fichardt 70 65 68

209 - Ulrich van den Berg 71 70 68

210 - Alex Haindl 70 73 67, Allan Versfeld 75 67 68, Warren Abery 69 71 70

211 - Doug McGuigan 72 70 69, Tjaart van der Walt 69 70 72

213 - Ryan Thompson 78 67 68, Derik Ferreira 70 74 69, Daniel Greene 72 72 69, Martin Maritz 71 73 69, Jean Hugo 72 70 71, Andre Cruse 69 72 72

214 - Stuart Clark (WAL) 74 72 68, Matthew Carvell 72 71 71, Michiel Bothma 72 70 72, Justin Walters 72 68 74, Keenan Davidse 68 71 75

215 - Bryce Easton 77 69 69, Trevor Fisher Jnr 75 70 70, Neil Cheetham (ENG) 72 72 71, Jacques Blaauw 71 73 71, Des Terblanche 74 69 72, Vaughn Groenewald 73 70 72, Dean O'Riley 69 72 74

216 - Darryn Lloyd 76 70 70, Omar Sandys 76 70 70, Desvonde Botes 76 70 70, Jaco Ahlers 74 68 74

217 - Chris Swanepoel 73 72 72, Steven Ferreira 71 69 77

218 - Tyrone Mordt 70 76 72, JG Claassen 71 75 72, Christiaan Basson 71 74 73, Lindani Ndwandwe 75 70 73, Merrick Bremner 71 72 75, Toto Thimba (Jnr) 73 70 75

219 - PH McIntyre 72 74 73

220 - Thabang Simon 71 75 74, Theunis Spangenberg 72 72 76

222 - Andre van Zyl 74 72 76

226 - Tyrone Ferreira 75 71 80

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