European wrap: Fichardt finishes best in disappointing day for SA players

Darren Fichardt closed with a three-under-par 67 on Sunday in the closing round of the European Tour’s Omega European Masters in Crans Montana in Switzerland as the potential South African fell away.

Even Fichardt would have felt a little frustrated with his share of 21st, after he had reached five-under through 10 holes and seemed to be well on his way to posting a challenging clubhouse target. But bogeys on 11 and the par-five 14th set him back, and he was unable to make any more birdies as he finished on six-under for the tournament. That was seven off the winning 13-under posted by Rasmus Hojgaard of Denmark for his third European title – all before his 21st birthday.

Dean Burmester had most cause to feel disappointed after he led at the halfway mark, and was just two shots off the lead going into the final round. On a day on which many of the players who could have won had moments of disappointment and frustration, Burmester reached halfway in a bogey-free one-under, but made six bogeys on his way in to a five-over 75. That saw him tumble 34 places down the leaderboard into a share of 40th on three-under for the tournament.

Daniel van Tonder finished in a share of 21st with Fichardt, carding a closing two-under-par 68. It was a round that would have been every bit as disappointing as Fichardt’s, including as it did seven birdies, a double-bogey seven on the par-five 14th, and a triple-bogey six on the par-three 16th. Without those errors and with just pars on those two holes, he would have finished in a share of third with Henrik Stenson.

Justin Harding had a level-par 70 to finish, and he was in a share of 32nd.

Elsewhere on the Challenge Tour, Oliver Bekker closed with a one-under 71 to finish in a share of 35th in the B-NL Challenge Trophy at The Dutch in Spijk, Netherlands. The tournament was won by Alfredo Garcia-Heredia of Spain in a four-man play-off with Marcus Helligkilde of Norway, Iceland’s Haraldur Magnus and Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland on the seventh play-off hole.

Martin Rohwer finished with a three-over 74 to share 56th on four-over for the tournament and Jacques Blaauw had a five-over 76 to end up in a share of 64th.

On the Ladies European Tour, on Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini of the three Southern Africans in the field of the Didriksons Skafto Open in Sweden made the cut. She finished on eight-over for the tournament in a share of 51st behind winner Pauline Roussin Bouchard of France. Casandra Hall and Lejan Lewthwaite missed the cut.

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