WHAT started as a potential three-horse race effectively ended just after the turn as Trevor Fisher jnr streaked clear over the closing holes en route to the Africa Open title in East London yesterday.
He had closed the deal long before he lined up a 40-foot birdie on the last but signed and sealed the victory in style by draining the putt to take him to 24-under, five shots clear of England’s Matt Ford.
The putt on the last capped a phenomenal weekend in which Fisher completed the course in 17-under in testing conditions.
“When I got into the car this [yesterday] morning Bruce Springsteen was playing. I think it was I’m on Fire. Everything felt good.
“Given the history of the tournament I knew it was my time. Three or four years ago I shot 14-under after two days but lost to Charl Schwartzel.
“I also lost to Charl in the SA Amateur on the last hole here. It brings back so many memories.”
It was Fischer’s first European Tour international schedule victory in 45 attempts and brought peace of mind as well as a fat cheque.
He has European Tour exemption until the end of next year and bagged close on R2.2-million.
Final-round rival Ford did not do much wrong other than failing to keep up with his runaway playing partner. Ford bogeyed the ninth, in an otherwise creditable final round.
By the time Fisher went four clear when he birdied the 10th, he looked to have one hand on the trophy.
He did, however, have a few minor scares on the opening nine. He hit his tee shot way right on the fourth but scrambled well, placing his approach within a few feet of the hole.
Fisher wobbled again on the next hole but this time there was no Houdini act as he dropped a shot – the only blot on his final round card.
He showed great mental fortitude when he sank a 20-plus footer to save par on the 11th.
Fisher’s victory elevates him from 271st in the world rankings to inside the top 150.
-Liam Del Carme