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Golf | Hollick bags second Sunshine Tour title with FBC Zim Open win

HARARE, ZIMBABWE - MAY 12: Michael Hollick during round 4 of the FBC Zim Open held at Royal Harare Golf Club on May 12, 2024 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Tyrone Winfield/Sunshine Tour)

HARARE – Michael Hollick kept the door firmly closed on prolific winner Darren Fichardt on Sunday as he shot an impressive final-round 67 to win the FBC Zim Open by two strokes at Royal Harare Golf Club, claiming his second Sunshine Tour title.

The Mount Edgecombe Country Club golfer and Fichardt, the 48-year-old with 18 Sunshine Tour titles and five on the DP World Tour, engaged in a tense final round, last two-ball duel on Sunday, with Hollick starting the fourth round with a one-stroke lead.

But with Hollick showing incredible composure and control, he never allowed the vastly-experienced Fichardt to get ahead. Hollick, who turns 37 on Wednesday, had opened up a three-shot lead by the fourth hole, but, unsurprisingly given his pedigree, Fichardt staged a fierce late charge that saw him close the gap to just one stroke on the 16th green.

Fichardt, who birdied the par-five 16th, would have drawn level but for Hollick sinking a clutch 30-foot par-putt. The Durban resident then birdied the 17th to go two ahead and almost certainly quell Fichardt’s challenge.

“Thanks to Darren for a helluva battle, well-played and we certainly had a good go at each other out there,” Hollick said at the prizegiving.

Fichardt closed with a 68, recovering from a bogey at the par-three second hole with three successive birdies from the fifth to the seventh hole. He dropped another shot at the par-three 11th, as did Hollick, and they both rebounded with birdies on the par-five 12th. Fichardt then began to push really hard with birdies on the par-three 15th and on 16, but Hollick held his nerve and repelled his admirable adversary.

Hollick showed his maturity on the front nine as he started patiently with three pars before embarking on his own hat-trick of birdies from the fourth to the sixth hole. He gained another shot on Fichardt with his birdie on the par-four 10th and, apart from the par-save on 16, he also showed his BMT with a superb approach to four feet to set up his crucial birdie on the penultimate hole.

Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent also shot a 68 on Sunday to climb into third place on the final leaderboard on 14-under-par, six behind Hollick. His younger brother, Kieran, shot a 71 to finish in a tie for fourth with Sweden’s Fredrik From (67) on 12-under.

A third Zimbabwean finished in the top-10 in Benjamin Follett-Smith (71), who shared sixth place with MJ Viljoen (71) on 11-under-par.

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