Fischer capitalizes on opportunity, finishes T14 in first PGA TOUR start in six years
April 12, 2019
By Zephyr Melton , PGATOUR.COM
- April 12, 2019
- Zack Fischer finished T14 at the Valero Texas Open after posting a final-round 66 in his first PGA TOUR start since 2013. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
It was a good week at the Valero Texas Open for Monday qualifiers. While Corey Conners made headlines for his whirlwind week that ended with him as the newest PGA TOUR winner and a trip to the Masters, Web.com Tour player Zack Fischer also made the most of his opportunity after getting into the field just days before the tournament.
Fischer, a Texas native, finished T14 after posting a final-round 66 in his first PGA TOUR start since 2013. It was Fischer’s career-best finish on the PGA TOUR, well surpassing his T68 at the 2013 HP Byron Nelson Championship.
However, going into the week, the Texas Open wasn’t even Fischer’s top priority. He attempted to qualify for the Web.com Tour’s Savannah Golf Championship, missing by a single shot. He made his way back to his home state to play in the Monday qualifier in San Antonio.
“It was kind of ironic that I missed the Monday qualifier for Savannah by one shot,” Fischer said. “If I had gotten into that there is no way I would’ve gone to San Antonio and tried to qualify. God definitely was looking out for me, because playing for $8.5 million instead of $550,000 is a big difference.”
Even so, the week did not begin without pause. Some of Texas’ notorious spring allergies got the best of him and he couldn't finish his practice round on Tuesday. An opening 1-over par front nine on Thursday did not indicate that Fischer would soon post a career-best finish. But the 29-year-old battled to post 71-69 for the first two rounds, enough to make the cut on TOUR for only the second time in his career.
“Once I made the cut, the comfort level increased so much,” Fischer said. “It took a weight off my shoulders and gave me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.”
Thanks to terrific driving accuracy and excellent putting, Fischer converted eight birdies and an eagle on the weekend as he posted 71-66 to climb to T14.
The finish comes at the best time for Fischer. The journeyman has had his share of setbacks on the golf course the last two years. He lost full status on the Web.com Tour at the end of 2017 and has struggled to earn starts since. But he credits his swing coach, Geoff Jones, faith and family as the reasons for his perseverance through the valleys in his career.
“The valleys were tough,” Fischer said. “But if you can get through the storm, and you can make it through those really dark valleys, you have a week like I had last week, and all of the sudden, the hills are even bigger.”
Now Fischer hopes to build on a successful week and use it to jumpstart his game and get back to playing the type of golf that he knows he is capable of.
“It just shows in golf that it can happen to anybody at any time,” Fischer said. “You realize these guys are human as well. They may be better at their craft than I am, but I can get to that point and I can beat these guys.”