Fichardt, a four-time European Tour winner, ranks 47th in the Race to Dubai and will play the first two rounds at Jumeirah Golf Estate with the defending champion.
He’s one of seven South Africans in the 60-man field this week. His countrymen run from Garth Mulroy (57th) to Richard Sterne (eighth). There is no mistaking the strength of South African golf when more than 10 percent of the field is made up by them.
And following this week in Dubai the European Tour 2014 season begins at the 103rd South African Open Championship.
But Fichardt has Dubai in his sights, and the motivation of playing alongside wunderkind McIlroy will inspire him to perform.
While the 2013 Africa Open champion has been in contention enough times to play his own game, it would be great to see the warhorse of Fichardt show the young gun one or two things. Roll on the DP World Tour Championship!