Trevor carries good form to Swaziland

Trevor Fisher, Jnr finished second at the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open a fortnight ago and carried that good form to the Investec Royal Swazi Sun Open, sharing the early lead on Wednesday.

“This is a nice event, because you can be more aggressive with everything. I played nicely – made one bogey and a few birdies, so I’m happy,” he said.

With eight birdies on his card, the 32-year-old’s affinity for Royal Swazi Golf Club showed, and his game was there to back it up as he and Charl Coetzee led the opening round on 15 points each.

“The par fours are short here,” said Fisher. “If you keep it in the fairway you’ve got a nice chance for birdie – about 80 or 90 metres to the flag – you just have to get the ball in the hole.”

The tournament is played in a modified stableford scoring format, which awards eight points for an albatross, five for an eagle, two for birdie and none for par. A point is deducted for bogey, and three for double or worse. The outcome is that players take on the course, pushing their boundaries.

Fisher led the early charge – he dropped only one shot during the round, and with his eight birdies posted a 15-point score in the clubhouse.

“My game is feeling alright. I’m just trying to have fun and enjoy life – not take anything too seriously. 15 points is good – I’m very happy with that. I made one or two nice putts, so I can’t complain about today,” he said.

There were no fireworks during his round, during which he made four birdies on either side of the turn and a lone drop at the third. While eagles crank up the points during a round, the Modderfontein Golf Club professional proved that consistency also earns good points.

Coetzee started at the 10th and raced to the front after he followed a birdie at 11 with an eagle at 12. The Bellville Golf Club professional tore through the front stretch in 32 strokes, bagging 10 points along the way.

On the second loop he dropped at the fourth, but made a solid recovery with birdies at the fifth, seventh and eighth to reach 15 points, drawing level with Fisher.

Albert Pistorius and Scotsman Alan McLean, who played together, took an early share of third after both posted 14 points. The third member of their match, Zimbabwe’s Bruce McDonald, made 12 points and held a clubhouse share of sixth, marking a successful day for the trio.

Ockie Strydom, who finished tied third at the SA Open Championship, had an exciting round, making four bogeys, six birdies and an eagle. He finished the day on 13 points and claimed fifth.

A calm Fisher considered his future, not just at the weekend but beyond Royal Swazi. “It’s nice for your confidence to win here, so we’ll have to see what happens this week. My plan for this year is to play through the Sunshine Tour and then head for qualifying school overseas. To play over there would be nice.”

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