Last year, Trevor Fisher Jnr used the Wild Waves Golf Challenge as a launching pad for a winning spree which led to him being named the Sunshine Tour’ Players’ Player of the Year.
He followed that two-stroke victory over Ross Wellington with wins in the Vodacom Origins of Golf at Sishen and the Nedbank Affinity Cup at the Lost City at Sun City to record his best-ever finish on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit in fourth with over R1.5-million in prize money.
He returns to the Wild Coast Sun Country Club to defend his title with a solid year behind him: He’s in 10th spot on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and with top-10s in the Joburg Open, Dimension Data Pro-Am and the Investec Cup, he’s in a good place.
He’s also celebrated the arrival of his first child, and the only thing that could possibly be getting him down would be a lean period in his attempt at making a go of it on the European Tour.
“There are limited starts for me there,” he said, “so it’s really a case of just pushing as hard as you can when you get a chance and hoping for the best.”
But the memories of his win at last year’s Wild Waves Golf Challenge have his feeling good about his chances. “I’ve been working hard on my game,” he said, “and there are lots of things that are right about it now.”
He will be up against a number of players in good form right now – not least last week’s runaway winner of the Vodacom Origins of Golf event at Langebaan, Jean Hugo. He recorded his first win since 2011 in that seven-stroke romp.
He was pursued by Merrick Bremner, who finished fast and will be looking for a wedding-present victory just less than three weeks ahead of his marriage, and by Andrew Curlewis, who revels in KwaZulu-Natal conditions, coming, as he does, from just up the road from Margate. Also in contention last week was Titch Moore, who just needs his putting touch to be rediscovered to lift him to a first win since 2007.
Wellington is not in the field, but Oliver Bekker, who finished third, is. Bekker is back in South Africa after battling his way around Europe on the Challenge Tour, and he – like Fisher – closed with a four-under-par 66 on the 5,807-metre par-70 course last year.
For Fisher, dealing with thosee – and other – challenges is key to preparing for yet another Sunshine Tour summer, and another shot at a European Tour title – one which observers find difficult to believe he doesn’t have to his name yet.