Fichardt survives late lapse to lift African Open title

South African Darren Fichardt survived a late wobble to claim a two-shot win on home soil at the Africa Open in East London.

Fichardt, the joint overnight leader, held on for victory, despite dropping three shots in his last five holes to finish the day with a one-under-par 71.

That put him on 16 under for the tournament and earned him his fourth European Tour title, with compatriot Jaco Van Zyl and France’s Gregory Bourdy finishing in a tie for second.

Fichardt had moved four under par for the day with birdies at the first, third, seventh and 13th, reaching the turn with a four-shot lead, meaning his late slump did not prove costly.

“I started losing focus,” Fichardt said: “I was four shots ahead and I started taking it for granted.”

Van Zyl, who was tied for the lead with Fichardt going into the final day, bogeyed the last for a 73.

lLimerick’s Pat Murray tied for 23rd at the Portuguese International Amateur Championship in Montado, near Lisbon, after a final round 74 saw him finish one over par on 289.

It was his highest score of the four days, and Murray may have hoped for a little better after carding a round of 70 on day three, in an event that was badly affected by fog.

The 2012 South of Ireland champion made a promising start with a birdie on the third, but bogeys on the seventh, ninth, 10th and 13th saw him drop out of the top 10 before a birdie on the 17th.

Home-grown star Goncalo Pinto took the title with an 11-under-par 277, finishing two ahead of England’s Jerome Titlow in second, while another Englishman, Harry Casey, was tied for third with American Mike Miller.

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