Fichardt fires into Spanish contention

Open de Espana - Day OneDarren Fichardt eagled the 18th at Real Club de Golf El Prat on Thursday for an opening round of 66 at the Open de Espana, where he shared second place.

“I was very impressed with my scrambling throughout the day and also made nice eagle on 18,” said Fichardt, who started on the 10th. “I went eagle, birdie, birdie, which always helps the scorecard.”

The four-time European Tour winner was in high spirits after celebrating his birthday on Wednesday evening and enjoyed round one in Spain.

“We’re braaiing every night, and it was my birthday yesterday and my son’s today, so we’re having a good time this week. We bring home with us everywhere we go, but this week is especially enjoyable,” he said.

Fichardt teed off in the afternoon, which was certainly the tougher side of the draw, because the wind picked up as the day moved along. In spite of that he made a lone drop and the 12th hole and finished the round on six-under-par.

“I was moaning because I was one-over after three, but then I started making birdies. I was just trying to keep my head above water, and it worked out that I scored a few times.

“The wind moves the ball quite a lot and I’m glad to be done with this score on the board, although I do prefer to have tricky conditions for my first round,” he said.

The 40-year-old lies one shot back from his countryman Trevor Fisher Jnr, who held the overnight lead after carding 65 for day one.

Fisher broke through at the Africa Open in March and has since settled into life on the European Tour. This week he’ll look to solidify his position as a contender on the international stage.

“It’s nice to be out here and I can play a full schedule now, which is good. It’s great to play with some of the best players in the world. Hopefully we can put a few more good rounds together,” he said.

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