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SA’s Darren Fichardt clinches the Joburg Open Print E-mail
27 February 2017
JoburgOpenWinner

South Africa 8; the Rest of the World 3. This is how the Joburg Open scoreboard looks like after Darren Fichardt won the 11th edition of the prestigious annual tournament at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday February 26, making it the eighth time that the coveted trophy was lifted by a South African golfer.

After a solid display of superb golfing skills, the Pretoria-born Fichardt emerged victorious with a 15 under par 200 score, clinching his fifth European Tour title in a 22-year professional career in the process.

Welsh golfer Stuart Manley and England’s Paul Waring shared the second spot with a 14 under par 201.

“I can’t believe that this has finally happened,” said the 41-year-old Fichardt after his sensational win.

“I’ve been trying to get into the Open tournament [for a long time] ... It will be the biggest tournament of my life.”
Another South African, Jacques Kruyswijk, took the fourth spot, coming up short of qualifying for the 2017 British Open.

“To be honest, I am a bit disappointed. I fought hard to stay in this game but it is what it is; I wanted to do better,” said Kruyswijk of his debut in the Joburg Open Sunshine-European Tour.

“But it’s good that I was able to make it through to the last round,” he said.

Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Herman Mashaba said it had been a “great week of golf”.

“The City of Johannesburg proved that it is a world-class African city capable of hosting successful sporting events,” said Mayor Mashaba.

“I predicted earlier on in the week that a South African golfer was going to be crowned this year’s winner. I’d like to congratulate Fichardt and thank him for flying the South African flag high,” said Mayor Mashaba.

“This is one of the tournaments we would like to keep as the City of Johannesburg.”

Heavy rains that pelted Johannesburg since last weekend almost made both the east and west courses of the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club unplayable. But the greens-keeping staff worked hard to get the courses in good shape.

Due to the persistent downpour, the tournament was cut down from a 72-hole event to a 54-hole encounter, with the suspended round three recommencing on Sunday and becoming the final round.

Bongi Mokaba, the City of Johannesburg’s Director of Events, was ecstatic with the success of the tournament.

“The Joburg Open is certainly growing in stature. We’re proud yet again to have hosted such a successful event. Well wishes to Darren Fichardt for such an incredible win.”

The other South Africans who have won the Joburg Open since its inception in 2007 are Richard Sterne (2008 and 2013), Charles Scwartzel (2010 and 2011), Brandon Grace (2012), George Coetzee (2014) and Haydn Porteous (2016).

The Open’s non-South African champions were Ariel Canete of Argentina (2007), Anders Hansen of Denmark (2009) and Andy Sullivan of England (2015).

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Last Updated on 27 February 2017