Trevor Fisher Jnr was up at midnight and 3am before his final round on Sunday in the South African Open Championship at Glendower Golf Club, but you wouldn’t have thought so as he blazed his way to a superb eight-under-par 64.
While it wasn’t enough to edge ahead of the mark set by third-round leader Charl Schwartzel at 15-under-par, his 14-under-par set a clubhouse mark – as well as a few tongues wagging as he seared round the opening nine in 30 with four birdies and an eagle.
Fisher’s baby daughter was responsible for the nocturnal prowling, and her arrival – as well as other upheavals in his life – has been responsible for a maturing approach to his game.
Earlier this year, he led the Joburg Open by five strokes together with eventual winner Richard Sterne going into the final round, but a limping level-par 73 in the final round saw him finish in a share of sixth in after an eagle on the opening hole had made things look so promising.
“A lot’s changed,” said Fisher. “I’ve had the little one, I’ve just got married, and those kinds of things put a whole new perspective on things like just enjoying a round of golf.
“It’s a funny game. You’ve just got to be patient and you never know when it will turn again. Today, it just turned for me. Today, I still let the nerves get to me a bit, but it’s all learning.
“I think that playing at this higher level brings out the best in me. I feel more focused. You have to lift your game or you’re not going to make any money. And now I’ve got a family to feed, so I’ve got to lift my game a bit,” he added.
He believes that the summer events on the Sunshine Tour, co-sanctioned with the European Tour, bring out the best in him – and other local players. “I think the better players do come through in these summer tournaments,” he said. “You simply have to play well in the summer. And it’s a nice opportunity for the local players to boost themselves up the Order of Merit.”
Fisher currently lies 10th on that Order of Merit, and his performance in the South African Open Championship is going to lift him higher on that list. The tournament has been good to him recently. “I had two nice years at Serengeti,” he said of his share of sixth in 2011 and of 13th in 2012.
His new-found maturity means his 64 in the final round this year is going to help the tournament be good to him again.