Fichardt wins Africa Open

EAST LONDON, South Africa – Darren Fichardt survived making three bogeys over the closing holes to win the Africa Open golf championship by two shots Sunday from compatriot Jaco van Zyl and Gregory Bourdy of France.

The 37-year-old from Pretoria closed with a one-under-par 71 Ä

including four birdies and three bogeys Ä for a four-round total of 272 over the East London Golf Club course.

It was the fourth European Tour triumph for Fichardt after the Sao Paulo Open in 2001, the Qatar Masters two years later and the Saint-Omer Open in France last season.

Van Zyl, seeking a maiden European Tour victory and level with Fichardt going into the final round, finished with a one-over 73

while Bourdy carded a two-under 70 and both ended on 274 for four rounds over the 6066-metre layout.

South African Garth Mulroy closed with a 67 to finish fourth on 275 and compatriots Desvonde Botes (70) and Tjaart van der Walt (71) were on 277 with Andy Sullivan (68) of England and Mark Tullo (71) of Chile.

Success for Fichardt meant the South African dominance continued of the Africa Open, which is co-sanctioned by the European Tour and Sunshine Tour, with a sixth consecutive champion from the host country.

Major winners Louis Oosthuizen (twice), Charl Schwartzel and Retief Goosen and Shaun Norris won the previous editions, with the last three part of the European circuit. – Sapa-AFP

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