Fichardt leads Euro Tour's Tshwane Open

Feb. 28, 2013 at 11:30 AM

CENTURION, South Africa, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Darren Fichardt shot a 7-under-par 65 Thursday for the lead after the first round of the European Tour's Tshwane Open in South Africa.

Fichardt was 5-under on his first nine and slipped with a bogey at the seventh hole in taking a one-stroke lead.

Bjorn Akesson was even with Fichardt after an eagle at the par-5 15th but dropped back with a bogey at 17. Keith Horne is tied with Akesson at 6-under 66.

Six players, including David Howell and Mark Tullo, who were bogey-free Thursday, are tied for fourth at 5-under.

The tournament is being played at the Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate, which features the longest hole in European Tour history -- the 685-yard, par-5 fourth hole. It played at an average of 5.09 Thursday.

Fichardt was among 18 players in a field of 156 to post a birdie on the hole Thursday.

Fichardt opened his round on the second nine with a birdie at No. 10 and had another at the 13th hole before a run of three consecutive birdies over Nos. 15-17. Fichardt got to 6-under with a birdie at the first hole before birdies at Nos. 4 and 6. He fell back with a bogey at the par-4 seventh.

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