The 41-year-old was able to get up-and-down from the front of the final green for his birdie to post a four under 68 and finish one stroke clear of Welshman Stuart Manley and England’s Paul Waring.

Manley had set the clubhouse target at 14 under courtesy of a third-successive round of 67, with Waring producing a closing 69 to join him in a share of second place.

By finishing in the top three, Fichardt, Manley and Waring all secured spots into the field for the 146th Open Championship to be played at Royal Birkdale in July.

The tournament was reduced to 54 holes after thunder, lightning and course flooding at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club forced play to be abandoned before the leaders had started their third rounds on Saturday afternoon.


There was another two-hour delay before play resumed on Sunday morning but South African Fichardt, who began his third round tied at the top of the leaderboard alongside Waring, started brightly when he finally teed off.

Darren Fichardt gets his hands on a trophy for the first time in four years. PHOTO: Warren Little/Getty Images.

Fichardt birdied the 1st, 6th and 8th holes to race to 14 under. When he rolled in a six-footer for birdie at the 12th hole, he join countryman Jacques Kruyswijk at the top of the leaderboard. When Kruyswijk double-bogeyed the 14th and Fichardt saved par at the same hole, the eventual champion was two shots clear. He would not be headed but he did drop into a share of the lead with Manley and Waring when he bogeyed the par-4 17th after missing a short par-saver.

"The form I have been having the last couple of months has been horrendous but I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to play as many tournaments as I can and just get my game right. And yeah, it worked out,” Fichardt said. “It’s good to win again.

"It’s just nice to see hard work paying off. It’s very nice!"