Fichardt seeks European Tour boost

His victory in June’s Saint Omer Open was his only top-10 finish of the year, but Darren Fichardt has looked sharp again ahead of this week’s Portugal Masters.

He followed up his victory with a run of five consecutive missed cuts, but he got the show back on the road with a share of 19th in the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Good finishes in the KLM Open and last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship confirmed he is back on track.

For Fichardt, a 12-time winner on the Sunshine Tour, his second round of 66 on the Old Course at St Andrews in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship was the highlight of his week, and it would have got his confidence back towards the levels he enjoyed when he was a three-time winner in 2009.

As the time approaches for a return to South Africa for summer’s big tournaments on the Sunshine Tour, Fichardt would like nothing better than to do so with a nice boost to his current world ranking of 185 and his 89th spot on the 2012 Race to Dubai.

In fact, forcing his way inside the top 60 in the Race to Dubai would be sweet, as it would put him into a good position to get into the lucrative season-ending Dubai World Championship.

He is one of 10 South Africans in the field, all of whom are seeking to bring decent form back home – as well as to secure their futures in Europe.

The others are Jbe’ Kruger, Thomas Aiken, Hennie Otto, Richard Sterne, George Coetzee, Jaco van Zyl, James Kingston, Keith Horne and Tjaart van der Walt.

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