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Golf Australia Express : Issue 8
IT’S BEEN a good week to have an ‘0’ next to your name in the career wins column. Just hours before Webb Simpson hoisted the trophy for his maiden victory at the Wyndham Championship over in the US, England’s Oliver Fisher did the same thing on the other side of the world at the Czech Open. After an indifferent start to the tournament, the 22-year-old came good to see off a brigade of late challengers and finish at 13-under, two shots clear of Swede Mikael Lundberg and a further two astern of Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti. Where the Brit’s astonishing form surge came from, no one knows. In his first 21 tournaments this season, he has made just one cut. That was almost an achievement in itself. A 35th place finish at the Nordea Masters in Sweden in late July and 45th at the Irish Open indicated he was on the improve, but he pulled one from nowhere to leapfrog a top 10 finish and jump straight to the big show. And did the boy earn it. Starting the final round in a share of the lead with CZECH MATE FOR FISHER Scotland’s Steven O’Hara, the buzzards soon started circling in the form of Lundberg and countryman Gary Boyd, who made three birdies on the front nine to reach 11-under, before handing them all back on the back nine to finish in outright fourth at eight-under. Fisher was at his shaky worst when he hit a telegraph pole off the 10th tee, but he somehow eked out a par to save his nerves and his tournament chances. Lundberg led at the tournament’s halfway point and again made the back nine his own on the final day, sticking three birdies to reach 12-under, but a telling bogey at the par-3 17th was his undoing, ending his hopes when Fisher drained an 25-foot bomb to birdie the same hole. After the win, Fisher spoke with the humble bemusement that only the year from hell can bring. “Getting your first win is obviously special, but especially as I’ve struggled so far this season. My form has been horrific, but golf’s a funny game,” he said post win. “ I went through a lot of different emotions out there today. I hit it well on the range this morning, so that gave me confidence. “ I played the front nine really well, then got a bit unlucky on the 10th. After that, the wheels started to fall off a little bit.” Destined to lose his European Tour card at season’s end when he teed off on Thursday, Fisher now has a two-year Tour exemption—and the customary grin that goes with it. OTG WHAT JUST HAPPENED ON THE EUROPEN TOUR FINAL STANDINGS 1 OLIVER FISHER ENG -13 € 250,000 2 MIKAEL LUNDBERG SWE -11 € 166,660 3 FABRIZIO ZANOTTI PAR -9 € 93,900 4 GARY BOYD ENG -8 € 75,000 T5 DAVID DRYSDALE SCO -7 € 49,650 T5 LORENZO GAGLI ITA -7 € 49,650 T5 STEVEN O’HARA SCO -7 € 49,650 T5 STEVE WEBSTER ENG -7 € 49,650 T9 GAGANJEET BHULLAR IND -6 € 49,650 T9 TANO GOYA ARG -6 € 49,650 T9 DAMIEN MCGRANE IRL -6 € 49,650 WRAP THE