Sunshine Tour

Position off tee key: Fisher

Ross Fisher (Gallo Images)
Ross Fisher (Gallo Images)

Pretoria - Defending Tshwane Open champion Ross Fisher of England says Pretoria Country Club will place a premium on accuracy off the tee when the tournament begins on Thursday.

"It’s a lot shorter and a lot more fiddly," said Fisher of the course which will be used for the Sunshine and European Tour sanctioned event.

"There will be a lot of positional play off the tee, a lot of irons and not many drivers."

Fisher won the title last year at The Els Club Copperleaf, which, at 7964 yards, was the longest course in European Tour history, winning by three strokes from South African Danie van Tonder and Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland.

The Pretoria Country Club layout stretches to just 7063 yards, and has had the par-five fourth and 18th holes reduced to par-fours, making it a par-70 course. And, with trees, complex bunkering and water at various points around the course, it would present a completely different challenge to the golfers.

"It's an adaptation that we have to make as players. We don’t generally play these types of golf courses. It’s very different and I would prefer to be on a long golf course that’s quite tight, because driving is my strength.

"It’s going to be different this week. Your wedges will have to be sharp and you’re going to have to get a hot putter, because I can imagine the scoring will be pretty good with some quality players here this week.

"I’m looking forward to the challenge and hopefully the game can live up to that," he added.

George Coetzee, who had been a member at Pretoria Country Club for his whole golfing life, echoed the sentiment of Fisher.

"I didn’t build my game at this golf course. I putted well to shoot good scores here, but it’s a drawer’s golf course. There is a lot of risk and reward and on a lot of holes you can take it on.

"There are some advantages to knowing the course as well as I do, but it suits a certain type of golfer. Hopefully I make enough putts to make up for that."

Fisher had been paired with Coetzee for the opening two rounds, but did not think that would aid his performance.

"George is a different player to me," said Fisher.

"We all play our own game. I played 18 holes this morning and I was hitting clubs off tees to see where they would put us. I’m sure we’ll come up with our own game plan. I’m feeling comfortable and confident out there, so I’m looking forward to getting going."

Fisher was coming off a solid performance in last week’s World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship in the United States, where he finished in a share of 23rd, and recovered from a poor opening 78 in the process.

"I’ll be as aggressive as you can be," said Fisher.

"I don’t think there are many holes were you can hit driver, maybe half a dozen. There’s a few where you probably could take driver, but if you don’t pull it off you’ll be in deep trouble. Strategy is going to play a pivotal role. Position your golf ball well and you’ll have a good week."

loading... Live
Burnley 0
Manchester City 0
loading... Live
Newport County 1
Newcastle United 0
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
42% - 7977 votes
11% - 1999 votes
19% - 3641 votes
2% - 469 votes
1% - 172 votes
2% - 448 votes
5% - 931 votes
8% - 1588 votes
3% - 635 votes
Water sports
1% - 170 votes
American sports
1% - 227 votes
3% - 581 votes