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HOT FICHARDT CHASING HEND IN SWITZERLAND

Scott Hend will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at Crans-sur-Sierre Golf Club as he looks to put last season’s play-off heartbreak behind him at the Omega European Masters. From The European Tour

The big-hitting Australian was defeated by an Alex Noren birdie on the first extra hole here last season en route to finishing a career-high 27th in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex.

It was his turn to produce a big finish on Friday, with four birdies in his last five holes helping him to a 63 and a 13 under par total, one shot clear of South Africa’s Darren Fichardt who also signed for a 63.

Thai Thongchai Jaidee, Australian Todd Sinnott and Paraguayan Fabrizio Zanotti were then at nine under, a shot clear of Matthew Fitzpatrick, Ryan Fox and Julian Suri.

Here’s what Fichardt had to say: “It has been pretty solid. I am just playing the course as it is. The first nine was very quiet, I only made one birdie on the seventh but I started tearing it up heading into the back nine which was quite nice. I am very happy with the way I am playing and very happy with where I lie. I am 12 under now and one behind Hend. It’s going to be fun. You just have to eliminate the mistakes out there. The greens can really bite you if you’re missing on the wrong sides. You can make easy bogeys. You just need to think a lot out there, make the right shots at the right time, I guess. I just have to keep doing what I have been doing. It’s obviously going to be a lot trickier with the expected rain tomorrow. You’ve got to hit it a little bit longer but the course condition is pretty much the best I have seen so you shouldn’t be affected by the rain too much.”

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