Darren Fichardt’s eye-catching rounds of 66, 66 at the Joburg Open gave him the top spot in the clubhouse on Friday, courtesy of some good putting.
The four-time European Tour winner was 11 under par and pleased that his flat stick was behaving again after two tough years on the European Tour.
Everyone knows about the putting woes @Darrenfichardt1!
We’re happy to see you’re back on track though ? pic.twitter.com/4IO9vgdzPC
— Sunshine Tour (@Sunshine_Tour) February 24, 2017
Fichardt had to complete six holes of his first round on Friday morning due to a weather delay, then quickly got his second round under way. The veteran shrugged off the inconvenience with birdies at the first and third holes, then went deeper under par with birdies at the fourth and sixth holes.
He eagled the eighth and flew into the turn, but checked his pace after making bogey at the 10th. The 41-year-old picked up a final birdie at the 18th to sign for 66 on the east course of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, having played the west course in his first round.
‘I knew it was going to play long and I needed to get off to a good start and that I did,’ he said. ‘I got to six under pretty quickly – after eight I was six under so I was very happy about that.’
Jacques Kruyswijk was second in the clubhouse on 10 under par after carding 70 on the east course. He hit one fairway on the front nine and then exchanged driver for three-wood on his second loop, opting for course management over risk.
‘It was an up-and-down round, but on the back nine I made a couple of birdies. You have to keep a calm mind. I’m still in a good position and excited for tomorrow,’ he said.