Fichardt braaing before unexpected Sun City call-up

Darren Fichardt (Gallo Images)
Darren Fichardt (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - South Africa's Darren Fichardt admitted that he was surprised by his performance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge following a late entry on Thursday.

READ: Grace leads SA charge in Sun City

Fichardt, who is ranked 87th in the 'Race to Dubai' rankings, was called up as a late replacement for England's Anthony Wall, who withdrew with a back injury.

Fichardt, 42, won his fifth European Tour title when he clinched the Joburg Open in February this year, which also booked him a spot in the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale.

The rush and lack of preparation for Sun City did little to deter him, as Fichardt was in a share of the lead halfway through his first round before finishing on one-under-par, 71 - four shots behind the leader, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.

The South African admitted that it wasn't a difficult course to prepare for - considering he won the Dimension Data Pro-Am there in 2004.

"It's not a course I've had to prepare for, because I've played and won here before. I know what I had to do," Fichardt told reporters after his opening round.

"I was quite shocked, I was telling my caddie the whole round that it doesn't feel like I'm playing the first round of Nedbank Golf, it feels like a practice round.

According to the Citizen website, Fichardt was only the sixth reserve and his participation was due to being the only golfer to get to Sun City on time, and a late entry was the last thing on his mind...

"No (didn't expect it), I was braaing until midnight last night," said Fichardt.

Fichardt tees off on Friday in Round 2 alongside Jorge Campillo and Alexander Bjork at 09:44.

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