5 March 2014
Englishman Ross Fisher brought South Africa’s domination of European Tour events hosted in the country to an end when he captured the Tshwane Open at the Els Club at Copperleaf on Sunday.
Fisher’s victory came after Dawie van der Walt (Nelson Mandela Championship), Louis Oosthuizen (Volvo Golf Champions), George Coetzee (Joburg Open) and Thomas Aiken (Africa Open) had won the four previous European Tour tournaments in South Africa.
South African Sunshine Tour events
The Tshwane Open, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour, brought to a conclusion a record number of eight European Tour events hosted in South Africa on the 2013/14 schedule.
Of the eight events played in the country since the season-opening South African Open in late November 2013, five were won by South Africans, the other winner being Charl Swartzel in the Alfred Dunhill Championship.
The victory was Fisher’s fifth on the Tour and his fifth in a different country, following his wins in the KLM Open (The Netherlands) in 2007, the European Open in 2008 (England), the Volvo World Match Play Championship in 2009 (Spain), and the Irish Open in 2010 (Ireland).
After leading by five shots heading into the final round, he finished on 20-under-par 268, after rounds of 66, 65, 67 and 70, three shots clear of South Africa’s Danie van Tonder and Northern Ireland’s Michael Hoey.
“I would have liked to have had all four rounds in the 60s, but I’m really pleased to be getting the trophy,” Fisher told the Sunshine Tour after securing the title.
“I knew I could win, given my third place in the Alfred Dunhill Championship and top 10 in the Joburg Open. I was playing very well, and everything about the way this week unfolded just felt right,” he added.
“It’s been coming for some time, but the putting has just let me down a bit. This week I holed more putts than I have for a very long time. I’m excited for the rest of the year.”
Van Tonder’s best
Van Tonder achieved his best ever European Tour finish after closing with a six- under-par 66, while Hoey finished with a four-under-par 68.
Fisher is up to 14th place in the Race to Dubai standings after his victory. Nedbank Challenge winner Thomas Bjorn occupies first place, followed by Sergio Garcia, Victor Dubuisson, and South Africa’s Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel.