England’s Oliver Fisher won the Czech Open at the Prosper Golf Resort by two shots from Mikael Lundberg of Sweden. It was a first European Tour victory for the 22-year-old from Chigwell.
Fisher began the final day tied for the lead with Scotland’s Steven O’Hara but it ended up being from those playing ahead that the Englishman faced the greatest challenge.
Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay fired an excellent closing 66 to post a clubhouse total of 9-under-par and England’s Gary Boyd threatened with a three-under par front nine, before fading on the run for home and ending the tournament alone in fourth.
Fisher began the round solidly with six consecutive pars but made his move just before the turn. Three straight birdies from the 7th saw him pull away from the pack.
Although he stuttered at the beginning of his back nine, he cancelled out his losses with birdies at the 15th, 16th and 17th holes. A par at the last was good enough for a two-stroke victory. It was a remarkable achievement for a man who had missed the cut in his first 21 tournaments of the 2011 season.
“I can’t really explain what it means,” he said. “After the year that I’ve had it’s a relief. It feels fantastic. I’ve put a lot of hard work in and to come out, my fifth season on Tour, to finally have won it feels like now I’m there. I’ve proven to myself I can win. It just shows what the game of golf can do – how bad it can be and how great it can be.”
The victory sees Fisher move into the top 70 on the Race to Dubai – a great result considering he looked in serious danger of losing his playing privileges for next season prior to this event.
Sweden’s Mikael Lundberg ended the week in second place. He forced his way into contention for victory with four birdies between the 7th and 15th, but his chances went with a bogey at the 17th.
Steven O’Hara, tied for the lead going into the final round, stumbled to a closing 75 and finished in a share of fifth.
Prosper Golf Resort, Czech Republic
Aug 18-21, purse €1,500,000, par 72
1 Oliver Fisher (Eng) 71 67 68 69 275 €250,000
2 Mikael Lundberg (Swe) 68 68 72 69 277 €166,660
3 Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 71 71 71 66 279 €93,900
4 Gary Boyd (Eng) 71 67 70 72 280 €75,000
T5 David Drysdale (Sco) 69 72 69 71 281 €49,650
T5 Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 69 70 74 68 281 €49,650
T5 Steven O’Hara (Sco) 70 71 65 75 281 €49,650
T5 Steve Webster (Eng) 70 70 71 70 281 €49,650
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only