Darren Fichardt In The Bag: Africa Open Winning Clubs
By Jake O'Reilly
18 February 2013 11:12
Darren Fichardt overcame some late jitters to seal a fourth European Tour title at the Africa Open and ensure the trophy remained in South African hands for another year.
The 37-year-old began the final round tied at the top of the leaderboard with compatriot Jaco Van Zyl, but pulled clear by the turn.
Three bogeys in four holes however left the door open for Van Zyl, but he was unable to take full advantage and finished two shots back alongside France’s Gregory Bourdy.
It represented a fourth straight victory for the home nation, after Charl Schwartzel (2010) and Louis Oosthuizen (2011 and 2012) won the first three stagings.
Van Zyl was chasing his first European Tour victory after 12 top-ten finishes and he moved in front at the short 2nd when he holed his birdie putt from off the green. His lead was short lived though as Fichardt picked up a shot at the par-5 3rd and then went ahead with a 20-foot birdie at the 7th.
Fichardt extended his lead to four after Van Zyl bogeyed the testing 9th, duffed his chip at the 12th and then himself holed a 20-footer for birdie at the 13th.
However, he three-putted the next, played a poor approach to the 16th and missed a six-footer on the 17th as his lead eroded to a single shot. A poor tee shot at the last followed, but he just about done enough to win.
“I started losing focus,” admitted Fichardt. “I was four shots ahead and I started taking it for granted. I was putting unbelievable and then I missed a short putt at the 14th and thought ‘what’s going on here?’ This is one of my favourite tournaments. The golf course is second to none – you’ve got to hit a lot of knock down shots and irons off the tee.
"I always enjoy coming here, and obviously winning the tournament makes the week especially enjoyable.”
Bourdy briefly threatened to challenge when he sunk a 25-foot eagle putt at the 3rd, but two bogeys and eight pars in his next ten holes ended his title hopes, before a late flurry of birdies earned him a share of the runner-up spot.
Here are what clubs were in Fichardt’s bag:
Driver: Titleist 910D3 (7.5-degree)
Fairway wood: Titleist 910Fd (14.5-degree)
Irons: Titleist AP2 CB (3-7), Titleist MB (8-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (54 and 60-degree)
Putter: Odyssey White Ice Sabertooth
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x