Fisher lands Wild Waves Challenge to pass R1-million mark

He felt it was a bit scrappy, but Trevor Fisher Jnr did enough to top R1-million in prize money for the year when he won the Wild Waves Golf Challenge with his 13-under-par total on Friday.

The 33-year-old defeated Ross Wellington by two strokes at the par-70 Wild Coast Sun Country Club, a margin he managed to open out on the 15th hole at which point the pair was locked together at 11-under-par.

“Ross three-putted there, and when I made birdie, I could breathe a little easier,” said Fisher. “But it’s never easy closing out a tournament, and the 18th was not easy with a very tough pin position.”

But he did close it out with a well-crafted par, while Wellington battled his way to a bogey, and he took his fifth Sunshine Tour title and his first at the coast.

It was his first victory since he won in Bloemfontein in 2009, and has put an explanation point on a season which has included four other top-10s – his best a share of third in the Joburg Open.

His R95,100 winner’s cheque consolidated his position in fifth on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit and pushed his season winnings over the R1-million mark – the most he’s ever won on the tour since he turned professional in 2002.

He’s also the top money-winner who is campaigning in South Africa, with the four players above him all in Europe or the United States.

“I didn’t hit the ball well today,” said Fisher, but his final-round four-under-par 66 belied that: He was bogey-free while all about him in the top 10 was making bogeys.

For a long while, Wellington didn’t look like succumbing to the pressure, but it had its effect on 15 and again on 18, after he had made birdie on 17 to close the gap on Fisher to one ahead of the tough finishing hole.

But Wellington pulled his drive into a fairway bunker on the right and wasn’t able to put his ball on the green with his approach from there. His chip was only just on the putting surface, and with the speed of the greens pretty severe, a two putt for bogey was the best he could hope for.

Fisher, on the other hand, played his approach from the right rough to just short of the green, below the hole, and a calm two-putt for par saw him home.

One shot behind Wellington was Oliver Bekker, who carded a final-round 66, while rookie Danie van Tonder completed a second consecutive top-five finish with his closing 67 and fourth place.

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