Sunshine Tour

Fisher wins maiden tour title

2015-03-08 18:01
Trevor Fisher Jnr (Gallo Images)

East London - In the end it was something of a leisurely victory lap for Trevor Fisher Jnr on Sunday as he marched to a commanding five-stroke victory at East London Golf Club in the Africa Open Golf Challenge.

There was a brief moment when he might have worried about throwing it away when he made bogey on the fifth, but he followed that minuscule stumble with six more birdies to go with his two in the first three holes to finish five clear of England’s Matt Ford, and seven ahead of Spaniards Jorge Campillo and Eduardo de la Riva, and 2013 South African Open champion Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark.

“It’s a good thing you can’t see nerves,” he joked afterwards.

“They were there, especially during the last four holes. It was quite tough, but I just tried to keep it smooth and everything worked out.”

But for that bogey – and it was only his third of the week – he played flawlessly in his final round for an eight-under-par 64, capping a bravura performance with a 2-footer for birdie on the 18th, as if to underline how much better he was than those who tried to chase him down.

But he felt that the turning point came around the turn.

“I hit the best shot of the week with a four-iron that I flushed into the ninth green,” he said.

“I took two-iron off the tee and I knew that my long-irons had been good all week. But I still knew that I had to hit it well, so making birdie on nine, when Matt made bogey – that was big.”

He followed it up with a birdie on the par-three 10th, and, although Ford never gave up, it was essentially one-way traffic.

Not that Fisher was going to admit it to himself.

“I hit another great four-iron in to 15, and made another birdie there, right after Matt had closed the gap to three,” he said.

“And then when I birdied 16, I knew I had a bit of breathing space, and I was able to tell myself that I could play it safe all thee way home.”

Ford, who earned his European Tour card the hard way after 10 attempts at Qualifying School, played like a seasoned veteran.

His closing 67 contained just a single bogey, and should have been good enough to win, but for the dazzling Fisher showing.

After trying on many previous occasions to play his way onto the European Tour through Qualifying School himself, Fisher has now taken a bit of a shortcut: He gains exemption on that tour until the end of the 2016 season, and that means he can plan his schedule with more care – and a little more financial freedom.

Give that his victory in last year’s Chase to the Investec Cup won him R3.5-million, and set him up to feel less pressure in his professional life, this latest win means the world to him.

“I can take my time planning where to play, I can take my wife and kids with me when I travel – it’s just a huge bonus,” he said.

And his name joins three other major champions on the Africa Open trophy.

Retief Goosen, Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen have all won in East London.

“I hope that’s an omen,” laughed Fisher.

Scores (RSA unless stated):
264 - Trevor Fisher Jnr 69 68 63 64
269 - Matt Ford (ENG) 67 66 69 67
272 - Eduardo de la Riva (ESP) 68 66 72 66, Jorge Campillo (ESP) 71 68 67 66, Morten Orum Madsen (DEN) 71 71 64 66
274 - John Parry (ENG) 68 69 69 68, Jaco Van Zyl 70 66 68 70
275 - Maximilian Kieffer (GER) 74 63 71 67, Julien Quesne (FRA) 70 72 66 67
276 - Moritz Lampert (GER) 74 66 69 67, Keith Horne 72 68 68 68, Mark Tullo (CHI) 70 67 70 69
277 - Magnus A Carlsson (SWE) 74 67 71 65, Paul Maddy (ENG) 72 67 72 66, Erik van Rooyen 70 66 74 67, Mikko Korhonen (FIN) 73 69 66 69, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 72 67 68 70
278 - Scott Jamieson (SCO) 71 69 72 66, Oliver Bekker 69 71 71 67, Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 72 69 70 67, Gregory Havret (FRA) 69 67 72 70, Dean Burmester 72 66 70 70, Jean Hugo 72 67 69 70
279 - Jbe' Kruger 74 69 69 67, Chris Lloyd (ENG) 69 70 72 68, Adilson Da Silva (BRA) 71 70 69 69, David Drysdale (SCO) 70 71 68 70, Justin Walters 70 70 68 71
280 - Damien McGrane (IRL) 72 70 70 68, Rhys West 73 68 70 69, Dylan Frittelli 71 72 68 69, Neil Schietekat 68 69 73 70, Garth Mulroy 74 66 70 70
281 - Andrew Johnston (ENG) 71 70 72 68, Mikael Lundberg(SWE) 70 72 71 68, Jordi Garcia Pinto (ESP) 72 68 72 69, David Howell (ENG) 68 69 71 73
282 - Ruan de Smidt 71 72 72 67, Brett Rumford (AUS) 74 69 69 70, Matthew Baldwin (ENG) 71 72 69 70, Lee Slattery (ENG) 71 71 69 71, Richard Bland (ENG) 68 72 70 72, Simon Dyson (ENG) 75 66 69 72, Peter Karmis 74 67 68 73
283 - Craig Lee (SCO) 75 64 77 67, Steve Webster (ENG) 73 70 73 67, Justin Harding 74 67 72 70, Jared Harvey 72 70 70 71, Wallie Coetsee 74 68 70 71, James Morrison (ENG) 72 71 69 71, Byeong-hun An (KOR) 73 65 72 73, Oliver Farr (WAL) 72 68 69 74, Seve Benson (ENG) 70 73 66 74
284 - Todd Sinnott (AUS) 75 68 73 68, Shaun Norris 70 73 73 68, Mark Foster (ENG) 73 69 73 69, Felipe Aguilar (CHL) 70 71 71 72, Pablo Martin Benavides (ESP) 71 69 71 73, Jacques Blaauw 72 69 69 74
285 - Sam Hutsby (ENG) 72 70 76 67, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 72 71 71 71, Bryce Easton 72 71 71 71, Kevin Phelan (IRL) 67 72 74 72, Matthew Fitzpatrick (ENG) 69 72 70 74
286 - Brandon Stone 73 70 72 71, Lyle Rowe 72 67 74 73
288 - Marco Crespi (ITA) 76 67 73 72, Chris Doak (SCO) 71 71 73 73, Darren Clarke (NIR) 72 68 72 76
289 - Darren Fichardt 75 66 73 75
290 - Merrick Bremner 73 70 78 69, Jaco Ahlers 71 70 73 76
293 - Tom Lewis (ENG) 69 70 78 76
294 - Titch Moore 73 68 76 77
296 - Louis de Jager 71 68 78 79

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