The reigning Africa Open champ has spent a year growing accustomed to competing on the European Tour, but recorded his first top-20 of the season at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play in August.
On Thursday he looked ready to finally contend on foreign soil when he got off to a flyer at Oceanico Victoria Golf Club and rushed to three-under after four holes.
The pace slowed from there, but he kept the juices flowing and turned in four-under-par. An untimely bogey at the par-four 11th hole prevented the nine-time Sunshine Tour winner from climbing further up the leaderboard, but he went on to birdie the 14th and 18th for a share of third.
Leading the way was Nicolas Colsaerts, who made two eagles during the first round on his way to a seven-under-par 64. The Belgian was followed into the clubhouse by countryman Thomas Pieters, who was sole second on six-under.
Two events remain before the European Tour’s Final Series begin and Fisher, who ranks 74th in the Race to Dubai, will be itching to rise to 60th or better in the earnings before the season reaches its crescendo.
The 26-year-old from Edenvale must capitalise on his good start in Portugal in order to accomplish the feat of making the top 60 and playing the DP World Tour Championship, which will have been a goal of his since breaking through onto the European Tour earlier this year.
The 2013 Sunshine Tour Players’ Player of the Year certainly has the game to make his dreams come true and must knuckle down over the coming 54 holes.