User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Fichardt leads by 1 in South African golf

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CENTURION, South Africa (AP) - Darren Fichardt of South Africa birdied the longest par-5 in European Tour history Thursday to lead the inaugural Tshwane Open by one stroke after the first round.

Fichardt shot a 7-under-par 65 and was one of three players in the top 24 to need only four shots on the 685-yard fourth hole.

``I hit driver, 3-iron, 7-iron and holed a 12-foot putt,'' said Fichardt, who lives 10 minutes from the Els Club course at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate. ``But I mean, at that length, into the wind and with the fairways not running, it's not a fun hole.''

Bjorn Akesson of Sweden was at 66, with six players at 67. Darren Clarke opened with a 69 while Michael Campbell was at 72 and Jose Maria Olazabal at 76.

``This golf course is awesome, it's very fair,'' Fichardt said. ``The greens are very soft, so you're able to attack the flags.''

Two weeks ago, Fichardt captured a fourth European Tour title in winning the Africa Open at East London. Last week, he was seventh in a Sunshine Tour event.

``I've been playing for eight weeks in a row and I don't even know what's going on,'' he said. ``I'm just going with the flow and hitting one shot at a time, so I'm looking forward to a break after this week.''

Akesson joined Fichardt in the lead after birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 and an eagle-3 at the 15th. Akesson, however, bogeyed the 17th to drop into second.

In the big group in third were England's David Howell and Gary Lockerbie, South Africa's Charl Coetzee and Jean Hugo, India's Jeev Milkha Singh and Chile's Mark Tullo.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

News: Odds to win 2016 Masters
Schwartzel leads at Alfred Dunhill
Jones maintains lead at Australian Open
Adam Scott slides down leaderboard
LPGA team event moves to Merit Club
New stars to give Kapalua a strong field
A mixed message in RCup qualifying
Spieth gets all the tough questions
Jordan Spieth likely to start in Olympics
MORE HEADLINES Gold Membership
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership