Birdie at the last wins it for Fichardt


Darren Fichardt was thankful for an 18th-hole birdie as he secured victory at the weather-interrupted Joburg Open.

The South African tournament was reduced to 54 holes after three days of persistent delays, with Fichardt coming out after more inclement weather on Sunday to secure his fifth European Tour title.

Fichardt's four under took him to -15 for the week, a stroke clear of Stuart Manley and Paul Waring.

South African Fichardt and Waring began Sunday with a share of the lead after two rounds, with the home hope making steady progress thanks to three birdies.

Waring was also three under at the turn, though his combination of an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys suggested a much more frantic approach.

And Fichardt's calmness helped him on his way home too, responding to a bogey at 17 in fine fashion.

Waring was inches away from forcing a play-off, his birdie putt at the last rolling around the cup and out.

It left Fichardt the chance to pick up the shot he needed at the last for victory and the 41-year-old did the business from close-range.

The top three had joint cause to smile as they all secured qualification for the Open at Royal Birkdale later this year.