Journeyman Darren Fichardt is eager to improve his season, starting this week at the BMW International Open, an event he has played 11 times since his debut European Tour season back in 2001. The only time he didn’t play was between 2008 and 2011, when he lacked a European Tour card.
His best performance at the German tournament came in 2013 when he tied for seventh, four shots behind winner Ernie Els. That performance was a result of a fine 66 in the second round, backed up by consecutive rounds of 69 over the weekend.
It was one of four top-10 finishes in the year for the 41-year-old, who capped it with a win at the 2013 Africa Open. The 14-time Sunshine Tour winner also made it to one of the Final Series events, the BMW Masters, before ending a respectable 48th in the Race to Dubai standings.
The Centurion resident has however missed the cut at both BMW International Opens he has played since his 2013 performance and has struggled on tour this season, missing five cuts in 10 European Tour events.
His best result this season has come on the Sunshine Tour, where he tied for third at the Dimension Data Pro-Am. On the European Tour, his best result is a tie for 27th place at the co-sanctioned Alfred Dunhill Championship, which also happens to be his only top-30 performance so far this season on the tour. Fichardt has also didn;t make the weekend at both the Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship.
The positives that the two-time Sunshine Tour Order of Merit winner can take into this week is that he ranks inside the top-50 on tour in terms of greens in regulation and is a respectable 33rd in driving accuracy. If he plays to these strengths, he could be in with a chance as long as his putting does not let him down too much (he ranks 185th on tour in putts per round).
Fichardt maybe one of the older statesman in the South African contingent in Germany this week, but his experience may see him through a tough patch and allow him to turn his season around in a positive way.