Johannesburg – It was one key putt that enabled Trevor Fisher Jnr. to claim a one-stroke lead headed into Friday's final round of the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Sishen Golf Club. And it came from one of his closest friends.
On the par-four 14th green, Ulrich van den Berg hit a magnificent chip to about two feet from the hole to set up a birdie. But from there he three-putted for an unlikely bogey, which ended up being the difference between him and the leader Fisher Jnr.
Fisher Jnr. made it into the clubhouse on eight under, with Van den Berg at seven under alongside Christiaan Basson.
But it was that kind of day that even with three birdies and no bogeys, Fisher Jnr. felt like he was battling out there for his 69.
“It was tough out there with the wind, and I'll be honest, I was fighting out there. But I just tried to make my pars,” he said of a day when gusting winds whipped through this short but challenging layout.
“It's never easy with the wind blowing, and the greens and fairways are hard so the ball runs a lot.”
Van den Berg held the lead before his slip-up on 14 and on his way to a 70.
“I'd say I'm pretty disappointed. I left a lot of shots out there. On the 14th, I had a short birdie putt from two feet and walked off with a bogey. This course isn't easy when you miss a green, so you've got to be very aware of where you put your golf ball, and that's not easy in wind like this.”
And Basson did some fighting of his own for a 71 that saw him stumble with three straight bogeys on the front nine, and recover with three consecutive birdies on the back.
“That was a bad run. I had some bad luck and suddenly made three bogeys in a row without really hitting a terrible shot. But I knew there were some nice birdie chances on the back nine.
“ The key for him was a birdie on the tough par-three 13th. “That's a hard hole, and I took a bit of momentum from there and finished quite well.”
While being a good friend of Van Den Berg's, Fisher Jnr. would love to claim back-to-back victories on the Sunshine Tour following his win at the Wild Coast Sun last week.
And Fisher Jnr. is hoping to retain the simple philosophy that has made all the difference to his game of late.
“This game is all about putting the ball in the hole. We all look for these perfect swings, and actually it's just about putting the ball in the hole. So I'm trying not to think too much, and to keep it simple out there.” – Sapa