Trevor Fisher Jnr equalled the Royal Harare Golf Club course record of nine-under-par 63 on Friday to move into a four-stroke lead at the halfway mark of the 2017 Zimbabwe Open. Source: Sunshine Tour
He joined Nick Price, Italian Francesco Laporta and 2015 champion Dean Burmester as holders of the record with a flawless display which included nine birdies. His playing partners Jean Hugo and Jaco Ahlers matched that total between them, and walked away with a pair of 69s between them. Hugo was the man four shots behind Fisher, and Ahlers was yet another four back.
“I putted amazingly today, so that helped,” said Fisher. “I didn’t hit my irons as well as I would have liked. I hit one or two good irons, but the putter was great. I was sinking 15, 20-footers… to shoot nine-under, you’ve got to sink some putts.
“It’s great to join players like Nick Price and Dean Burmester as course-record holders here. I hope I can break it over the weekend!” he added.
Fisher had a good week on the European Tour last week, with his share of eighth place in the Trophee Hasan II in Morocco getting him into this week’s Shenzen International in China. But he was unable to get a visa in time, so he kept the momentum going by playing in Zimbabwe. And it’s clearly paid off. “I’ve been feeling a bit better than I felt last week in Morocco,” he said. “I’m working on a few little things and trying to pick up one or two little movements or feelings out there, and so far it’s feeling alright.
“But this game’s always a fight. You always are trying hard to keep it together and shoot a good score, but I just try to hit fairways and greens and give myself a chance for birdie, and I did that and I made nine of them, which is pretty good.
“I drove the ball a bit better today than I did in the first round. I’m not hitting it quite as far as I want, but I drove it in the fairway quite a few times. The irons weren’t quite what I’d like them to be, so I hope I can hit them a little closer tomorrow so the putter can carry on working overtime,” he added.
Hugo was full of praise for Fisher’s round. “I think he missed one green,” he said, “and he holed a lot of good putts. I think he had seven one-putts on the front nine. He played very well, so 63 was probably the worst he could have shot.”
The man in third place at the end of the round was Oliver Bekker, who found some serious momentum after three bogeys in his opening nine saw him turn in level par. He made four birdies on his way in and will look to reproduce that kind of play over the weekend.
In fourth was Rhys Enoch of Wales, who has been threatening to win in South Africa for some time now. He was a bit taken aback by Fisher’s record. “I wasn’t expecting that, to be honest,” he said. “I just went out and tried to get as close to double figures under par as I could. I’m a little back of that, but I’m glad I’m still up there.”
Fisher’s lead means his pursuers are going to have to chase and chase hard. It should make for an exciting weekend.