Darren Fichardt carded a birdie-laden 64 in the third round of the BMW SA Open to move into contention ahead of the final round at Glendower on Saturday.
He opened his round with three consecutive pars that were followed by a birdie on the fourth hole. A bogey on the fifth threatened to derail his round but a par on the sixth seemed to steady his resolve as he went on to make birdies on seven, eight and nine to turn in 33. His back nine was unblemished as the 2016 Joburg Open champion made three back-to-back birdies from 12 through to 14 before making another par on the par-five 15th.
He made further gains on 16 and 17 and closed off his impressive round with another par on 18.
‘I’m very happy because I started terribly today,’ he said after his round. ‘I made a par on two which feels like a bogey. But it came together, I think it was on the eighth hole and it worked out pretty nice.’
Despite his disappointment with that bogey he made on the fifth hole, Fichardt showed great form on Saturday and feels he could have gone on to make a few more birdies had there been more holes to play.
‘We had a bit of wait on the par-five 15 there,’ he revealed. ‘The guys were looking for a ball and stuff and I just went out of rhythm a bit and hit a terrible four-iron and made a silly par there. Made a really good putt on 16 and a two on 17, I’ll take two there anytime and came close on 18. I wish I had more holes left because I feel like I could have birdied every hole today. So, I look forward to tomorrow.’
He credits his mindset and putting game for the position in which he finds himself after three rounds of golf.
‘I started getting my shapes back,’ he noted.
‘I was able to commit to my shots better and therefore I was hitting it a little harder and I wasn’t steering it around. And, the putter was good the whole week. All I needed to do was get myself into a good position and then the birdies would have fallen.’
While he admits that the rough at Glendower was a little too thick for his liking, the 15-time Sunshine Tour winner had good things to say about the condition of the golf course.
‘The rough isn’t too great for me,’ he said.
‘But, if you’re in the fairway, it’s unbelievable; second to none. The greens are the best I’ve seen. Very pure. There are low scores out there but you just have to avoid the rough.’
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