JOHANNESBURG – If the name of this tournament is anything to go by, then Glendower Golf Club is indeed somewhat of a fortress when it comes to Trevor Fisher Jnr. who once again showed his love for this classic parkland course to share the lead in the first round of the Fortress Invitational on Thursday.
Fisher Jnr. and Michael Hollick both opened with rounds of nine-under-par 63 and lead by two strokes over Heinrich Bruiners, and with Robin Williams well-placed on six under par.
It was an impressive start on a Glendower golf course that is always a true test of the game, and which Fisher Jnr. in particular has shown to enjoy over the years.
On the five occasions that the South African Open Championship (now the Investec South African Open) was played here most recently, Fisher Jnr. finished no worse than tied 15th. In 2017, the year Rory McIlroy played in the SA Open at Glendower, Fisher Jnr. finished as high as tied fifth.
On Thursday, Fisher Jnr. made only one bogey in a round that also included five birdies, an eagle and an albatross on the par-five 17th.
“That albatross on 17 really helped a lot. I had a few pars in the middle of the round but pars are never bad at Glendower. But I just played solid golf all day and wasn’t really in too much trouble. I gave myself a lot of chances for birdie which was my goal for the day,” said Fisher Jnr.
“This golf course has always been good to me and I’ve played some of my best tournaments here. I nearly won the SA Open here. It just suits my eye. So let’s see what we can do with the next three rounds.”
Fisher Jnr. also credited his good friend and fellow Sunshine Tour professional Ulrich van den Berg for a putting tip that played a part in his success on Thursday.
“Uli helped me earlier in the week and I’m putting really well. You have to do that around here. I’ll just stay patient and give myself chances on each hole.”
Just two shots off the lead, Bruiners has certainly been building towards a breakthrough on the Sunshine Tour this season. He came close to a win when he finished second in the Vodacom Origins of Golf in August, and then came into this week with a finish of tied 18th in the South African PGA Championship.
– Michael Vlismas