Fisher baits his hook for Order of Merit title
Trevor Fisher Jnr could hit no more shots this year and he would have had a great season, but a good performance in this week’s Alfred Dunhill Championship could make 2012 career-defining for him.
The 33-year-old Edenvale professional won three times on the Sunshine Tour this year, and with five other top-10 finishes to his credit, finds himself lying fifth on the Order of Merit behind Branden Grace ahead of the final event of the year – which also happens to be the richest.
“I’ve looked at the numbers, and I know what I have to do,” he said: Grace is just short of R2.5-million, while Fisher is on R1.5-million, with nearly R2.7-million up for grabs for the winner this week at Leopard Creek Country Club.
So a win for Fisher and a finish below second for Grace could do the trick. “Branden’s going to be tough to catch,” he said. “I’ll obviously have to come top two or top three here, but nobody knows what golf gives you if you stay patient.”
And patience has been the key to Fisher’s success this year as he has surpassed his previous best year as he made just over R800 000 in 2011.
“For any golfer to get to the next level, it’s in the head,” he said. “We can all hit the ball – there’s very little difference in how the top guys hit the ball – and the mental step is the one to get to the next level.”
He showed that he has started taking that step when he won his third title of the year, the Nedbank Affinity Cup at the beginning of November. “That was one of my best wins,” he said. “It was a breakthrough for me, finishing birdie-birdie like that to win. I had a four-shot lead with seven to play and I made triple-bogey and bogey in two holes… I’d just given it straight back to the field.
“It was very important for me, and I was happy to come out on top there,” he added.
He has a best result of a share of 14th in the Alfred Dunhill Championship in 2007 when John Bickerton won it after Ernie Els imploded on the 18th with the tournament all but won. And his best round on the course was a six-under-par 66 in the 2008 tournament won by Richard Sterne.
He knows that his new-found patience is something that will help him around Leopard Creek. “You just have to make pars and the birdies will come,” he said. “You’ve just got to give yourself a chance. It is beautiful around here, and I hope the golf will be just as pretty.”
If he can produce the kind of performance that saw him finish in share of third in January’s Joburg Open behind Grace, he will be sitting pretty in the Order of Merit.