Fisher Jnr. joins Sterne at the top
Last updated: 8th February 2013
Trevor Fisher Jnr. heads into one of the biggest weekends of his career as the joint leader in the Joburg Open.
On another incredible day of scoring, Fisher Jnr. signed for a 62 on the West Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Friday to head the field alongside Richard Sterne on 15 under par.
Both players are responsible for the lowest first 36-hole score in the history of the Joburg Open, and lead by three over George Coetzee after his 64 on the East Course.
Charl Schwartzel (65) is five off the pace, tied for fourth with Keith Horne (66) and Chilean Felipe Aguilar (66), the first non-South African on the leaderboard.
England's Tommy Fleetwood (66), American Peter Uihlein (69), South African Jaco van Zyl (68) and Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara (65) follow a further shot back.
Defending champion Branden Grace missed the cut.
After a decade in the pro ranks, Fisher Jnr. is ready to take the step up this weekend from a solid Sunshine Tour professional to a European Tour winner.
"My last three or four years have been good on the Sunshine Tour. But I need to get to the next level now. It's been good for me in terms of the stepping stones I've taken in the last 10 years. But I've stepped on a lot of stones - I need to get to the top now," he said.
Much of his new focus has to do with a seminal season in 2012 when he won three times for a career haul of seven titles on the Sunshine Tour.
It was during this stretch that he refined his mental approach and became more patient with himself on the course.
"I think it's a case of maturity. I'm a late bloomer unfortunately. I've played better as I've got older. Last year was good for me. I finished fourth on the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, which is my best performance. I've given myself chances before this, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself."
Sterne's 65 on the East Course included three birdies in his final four holes, reflecting again his words of how important a strong finish is to a round.
"I did the right things and putted well. It's nice to not be behind going into the weekend," he said.
But with 36 holes on the East Course remaining, Sterne knows better than most that this tournament is far from over.
"It won't be easy on the weekend. The players that are five or six back can catch us as well. Charl's there, George is due a win, so it's a long way from over."
His words were echoed by Schwartzel, who shot a 65 on the West Course despite missing several very short putts.
"It's still a long way to go. Trevor played fantastic golf, but at least I've kept myself within striking distance."
Fisher Jnr. would certainly be a popular winner amongst his peers, who voted him the Sunshine Tour Players' Player of the Year at the recent awards dinner.
"Trevor was my foursomes partner when we played for South Africa as amateurs," said Schwartzel. "It's nice to see him play well."
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