Fichardt Fires 61 in Lightening-Plagued Brazil
Fichardt's 61 would have broken the course record but Friday's play was contested under preferred lies. Matthew Blackey still holds the record with his 8-under 63 in last year's event. Fichardt is 14-under 128 through 36 holes at the Sao Paulo Golf Club.
Diego Borrego, Richard S. Johnson, Johan Skold and Blackey are tied for second at 7-under. Tom Gillis completed his second round and sits at 6-under with Neil Cheetham and first-round leader Per Nyman. Cheetham made it through 15 holes Friday while Nyman had yet to tee off.
Fichardt began his round with a birdie at No. 10 and then ran off three more on his front side for a 32. With the lead, Fichardt pulled away with four birdies on his second nine, and then a 20-foot eagle at the ninth gave him his huge advantage.
'The key was just playing percentage golf today,' said the 25-year-old, who won the inaugural Tour Championship on the South African Tour last month. 'Yesterday, I hit a lot of drivers which got me into trouble. But today I just kept it on the fairway and left myself a full shot in.
'I'm striking the ball well. The swing is there. A win will start the year off nicely.'
Johnson posted six birdies, all coming from inside of four feet, for a 67 on Friday.
'My sand wedge and lob wedges were amazing today,' said Johnson, who is winless on the European Tour. 'I hit far more fairways today and gave myself an opportunity.'
Blackey mixed four birdies and a bogey in his round of 68 but knows he has a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to catch Fichardt.
'Sixty-one is a great score and everyone is playing catch up,' he said. 'I've made a good start this week and have now got to try and peg Darren back.'
Borrego carded six birdies on Friday including a chip-in from 10 yards at the 14th for his round of 67. Skold posted a 6-under 65 that was aided by four birdies as he made the turn.
Kenneth Ferrie, Robin Byrd, Mark Roe and Thomas Gogele are in the clubhouse at 5-under 137, with Thomas Levet at minus five through three holes and Brett Rumford still to tee off in Round Two.
Click here for full-field scores from the Sao Paulo Brazilian Open
Pairings, tee times set for championship match
STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.
Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.
“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”
Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.
Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.
Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.
“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.
Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)
3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)
3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)
3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)
3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)
4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)
Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama
STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.
Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.
Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.
Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.
Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.
Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.
“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.
Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”
NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times
The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.
After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.
- Finals: Alabama vs. Arizona
- Semifinals: Alabama def. USC, 3.5-1.5
- Semifinals: Arizona def. Stanford, 4-1
- Quarterfinals: Alabama def. Kent State, 4-1
- Quartefinals: USC def. Duke, 3.5-1.5
- Quarterfinals: Arizona def. UCLA, 3-2
- Quarterfinals: Stanford def. Northwestern, 3-2
- Individual stroke play
TV Times (all times ET):
4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)
Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats
The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.
How to watch:
Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream
Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
Purse: $7.1 million
Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)
Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke
Notables in the field
• Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament
• 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)
• 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)
• First start since missed cut at The Players
• More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018
• Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)
• 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional
• First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)
• Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)