Great Fish angling for more
It doesn’t look as though it’s meant to be this week for Trevor Fisher Jnr.
Despite having started the final round of this week’s Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club in a share of the lead, he, along with many others in the field, have been blown away by Richard Sterne on the final day, and the 33 year-old’s wait for a European Tour card goes on.
It was last year that “Fish” truly put himself on the map though.
Successive wins at the Wild Waves Challenge and the Vodacom Origins of Golf Sishen were backed up by a win two months later at the Nedbank Affinity Cup.
This trifecta of triumphs steered the Edenvale resident to a fourth-place finish in the Order of Merit, along with the 2012 Sunshine Tour Players' and Writers’ Player of the Year awards.
But this was no flash in the pan. Fisher turned pro in 2002, and won the FNB Botswana Open less than a year later.
He finished 76th in the Order of Merit that year, and, other than in the 2005-06 season, it would be the only time he would finish outside the top-70 in his tenure as a professional.
A win at the Eskom Power Cup got his career firmly back on track in late 2006, and he picked up two further wins in the following three years.
But the 2010 Africa Open at East London Golf Club was where the world got a glimpse of Fisher’s true ability – and charisma.
He started the final round in a share of the lead, but a disappointing 72 in idyllic conditions meant that fourth place was all he could muster.
But at no stage that Sunday did a smile leave his face, and his mirth in the face of defeat struck a chord with so many.
That year he broke into the top 15 in the Order of Merit, and, in the two years since, he has been safely inside the top 10.
Indeed Fisher’s career is a timeline of steady, but significant improvement. He may not have reached the dizzy heights that so many of his compatriots have, but he isn’t far away.
Fisher said of his surge in the last few years: “I think it’s maturity. I’m a late bloomer, and that’s just one of those things. I’ve played better as I’ve gotten older and had nice years the last three or four years, but I need to get to the next level now.”
“I’ve been here for 10 years and it’s been a good stepping stone to the European Tour, but I’ve stepped on a lot of stones now and it’s time to get to the top,” he added.
In attempt to fast track this, Fisher went to European Tour Qualifying School last November. Sadly, he narrowly missed out on a card in the final stage.
However, the Modderfontein professional remains hopeful of realising his dream in the not too distant future, and is dreaming of the positive change it would make in his career.
“It would mean a lot to get my card. I missed it by two shots last year. It changes a lot of things to win as well – you can pick your events and plan your schedule ahead. You don’t have to play every event and try to make as much money as you can - you can just pick what you want,” he explained.
Golfers peak at different ages. We see the best of players like Anthony Kim in their early twenties, while someone like Kenny Perry only reached the top of his game well into his forties.
The point is we don’t know just how good Trevor Fisher Jnr is going to be. But there’s no reason why he can’t reach the very highest echelons in his discipline, and, given the steady incline of his form, a European Tour card seems to be an inevitable sub minimum. Just ask Richard Sterne.
“Trevor is a nice guy. I’ve known him for many years - he’s a good player and I’m sure he’ll be on the European Tour in the next year or two, if not sooner,” Sterne said this week.
“He’s a good player and has the game to be on the European Tour and even win out there - and he’s just a great guy.”