It was one key putt that enabled Trevor Fisher Jnr. to claim a one-stroke lead headed into FridayÂs 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 that ended up being the difference between him and 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.
ÂIt was tough out there with the wind, and IÂll be honest, I was fighting out there. But I just tried to make my pars,Â he said of a day when gusting winds whipped through this short but challenging layout.
ÂItÂs never easy with the wind blowing, and the greens and fairways are hard so the ball runs a lot.Â
Van Den Berg held the lead before his slip-up on 14 and on his way to a 70. ÂIÂd say IÂm pretty disappointed. I left a lot of shots out there. On 14 I had a short birdie putt from two feet and walked off with a bogey. This course isnÂt easy when you miss a green, so youÂve got to be very aware of where you put your golf ball, and thatÂs not easy in wind like this.Â
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.
ÂThat 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.Â The key for him was a birdie on the tough par-three 13th. ÂThatÂs a hard hole, and I took a bit of momentum from there and finished quite well.Â
While being a good friend of Van Den BergÂs, Fisher Jnr. would love to claim back-to-back victories on the Sunshine Tour following his win at the Wild Coast Sun last week. ÂWeÂre good friends, but in the final round itÂs back to business and weÂll both be doing our best to win.Â
And Fisher Jnr. is hoping to retain the simple philosophy that has made all the difference to his game of late.
ÂThis game is all about putting the ball in the hole. We all look for these perfect swings, and actually itÂs just about putting the ball in the hole. So IÂm trying not to think too much, and to keep it simple out there.Â