Fischer Reels in First Win at Fort Smith Classic


FORT SMITH, AR -- Todd Fischer birdied the 16th hole and went on to earn a one-shot victory at the Buy.Com Fort Smith Classic for his first career victory.
Fischer carded a 1-under-par 70 in Sunday's final round at the Hardscrabble Country Club to finish with a four-day total of 11-under 269. He earned a first-prize of $76,500 and moved up to fourth on the season money list.
'Winning is fantastic, it feels great,' said Fischer, who became the 12th first-time winner on the Buy.Com Tour this year. 'Right now, I'm calm about it, but I'm sure it'll get a little wild later on.'
Fischer was anything but calm early in the morning when he had to come out and play the final two holes of the third round because rain delayed play earlier in the week. He held the lead overnight at 12-under par, but a pair of bogeys dropped him into a tie for the top spot entering the fourth round.
'I was hot this morning,' said Fischer, 'but what can you do. I went back to my dark, cold dungeon of a hotel room, watched some of the British Open and just flipped the channels. I came back out and just tried to hit better shots.'
It didn't happen early, as consecutive bogeys early on the front nine dropped him off the lead. He rallied with back-to-back birdies on the sixth and seventh holes, but another bogey on eight left him 1-over par for the round heading to the back nine.
Fischer played a steady back nine with seven pars and birdies at the par-five 11th and the par-four 16th. He drained a long birdie putt on the 16th hole to break the logjam at 10-under, then made a 10-footer for par at 17 and a two-putt par from 20 feet at 18 to wrap it up.
'The hardest thing about the last two holes was that first putt on 18,' said Fischer. 'I was over it and couldn't figure out if it was uphill or downhill.'
Gavin Coles, Doug Barron and Andy Sanders finished second at 10-under. Coles and Barron each shot five-under 65s on Sunday, while Sanders posted a 67. All three were in the clubhouse hoping for a playoff that never came.
Sanders reached 11-under on the back nine, but a bogey at the par-three 15th was his undoing.
Daniel Chopra, Doug Dunakey, Vic Wilk, Grover Justice and Craig Spence tied for fifth at eight-under par.
Spence played in the final group with Fischer and was 12-under through six holes, but double-bogeys at seven and eight derailed his momentum. He also bogeyed 10, but an eagle at 11 moved him back to 11-under. Another bogey at 13 left him at minus-10 and he could only manage pars the rest of the way.
Full field scores from the Fort Smith Classic