10th September 2018 | Sunshine Tour
Fichardt, Schwartzel solid in Switzerland
Darren Fichardt’s steady return to form continued last week in Switzerland when he posted a top-10 finish at the Omega European Masters where he shared eighth at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club.
This follows a playoff defeat to Vaughn Groenewald on the Sunshine Tour’s Sun Wild Coast Challenge three weeks ago.
Fichardt fired a flawless final round six-under-par 64 to finish on a total of nine-under-par 271 and eight shots behind the winner Matthew Fitzpatrick of England. Fichardt shared the spot with his fellow countryman Charl Schwartzel, Doug Ghim of the United States of America and Phachara Khongwatmai of Thailand.
The 2017 Joburg Open champion made two consecutive birdies on second and third in the final round and then another two on seven and nine. Fichardt went on to make further gains on 14th and 15th on his way home. His final round 64 was preceded by a 68 in the first round, a 71 – his only score in the 70s in five rounds of golf – in round two and another 68 on day three.
Schwartzel made his gains on the sixth, 15th, 17th and the last hole, but his round was spoilt by the single bogey he made on 16th so that he signs for a three-under 67 in the final round. His final round was preceded by rounds of 67, 69 and 68.
In the field with Fichardt and Schwartzel in Crans Montana were Haydn Porteous who shared 16th, Christiaan Bezuidenhout who tied 23rd, Thomas Aiken who finished T30, George Coetzee, Erik van Rooyen and Justin Walters shared 35th, with Richard Sterne finished finishing 43rd while Jaco van Zyl finished T59.
Zaner Lombard, Jacques Kruyswijk and Dean Burmester missed the cut.