Celadna, Czech Republic – It took Oliver Fisher five years and 147 events to finally secure his first European Tour victory.
On Sunday, the 22-year-old Englishman posted a three-under 69 to win the Czech Open. He earned his first tour title by two strokes at 13-under 275 at Prosper Golf Resort.
When it takes so long to get that maiden victory, there are plenty of tough patches and for Fisher, this year has been the worst.
He made one cut in his first 19 starts, and when he saw the weekend at Prosper Golf Resort, it was only his fourth made cut of the year.
But on Sunday, Fisher was the strongest down the stretch with birdies at 16 and 17 to get that elusive first win.
"It's been a tough year," Fisher said in his televised interview. "This is the third cut in a row I've made. I've been working very hard. Thankfully, it's paid off this week.
"It's massive to win out here. It's very hard to do it. I'm just overjoyed."
Mikael Lundberg also had a three-under 69 on Sunday to take second at 11-under 277.
Fabrizio Zanotti fired a six-under 66 and came in third at minus-nine, which was one shot better than Gary Boyd, who lost a playoff here last year. Boyd was in the hunt until four bogeys in a six-hole span dropped him to an even- par 72.
Fisher began the final round tied for the lead with Steven O'Hara, but the young Englishman parred his first six holes to stay tied for the lead.
Fisher rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at the seventh, then sank two six-foot birdie putts in a row at eight and nine to make the turn two strokes ahead at 13-under par.
Boyd was right behind Fisher, but his trouble surfaced starting at 10. Fisher had his own woes, including a bogey at the 11th. He couldn't get up and down for par from a bunker at 13 and found himself tied for first with Lundberg, who tallied four birdies through his first 14 holes.
Lundberg sank a 10-foot birdie putt at the 15th to get to 12-under, while Fisher atoned for the error at 13 with a three-foot birdie putt at the 14th.
The duo was tied and both were on the tee at par threes. Lundberg barely found the green at 17, while Fisher gave himself a long way for birdie at No. 15. Both golfers ran their birdie tries well past the hole, although Fisher only had eight feet for par, while Lundberg had closer to 15 feet.
Both players missed their par putts and they shared a one-shot lead over O'Hara at 11-under par.
Lundberg parred the last to get in at minus-11.
Fisher missed the green with his second at the par-five 16th, but he poured in a long birdie try to inch one ahead. Fisher hit a great tee ball to 20 feet at the 17th and ran home that birdie putt to move two ahead with one to play.
He missed the fairway slightly at 18, but he hit his approach to 30 feet. Fisher could have three-putted from there for the win, but he got down in two, then was greeted by several players offering their congratulations.
"I hit a bit of a rocky patch and my nerves starting going," admitted Fisher on television. "I holed a great putt on 16, a great putt on 17. I kind of tip-toed over the line, It feels brilliant."
O'Hara bogeyed his last three for a three-over 75. He tied for fifth with Lorenzo Gagli (68), David Drysdale (71) and Steve Webster (70) at seven-under 281.
NOTES: Fisher began the week 224th in the Race to Dubai, but moved into the 70s with the victory...First-round leader and co-runner-up last year Peter Lawrie shot a one-over 73 and tied for 37th at even-par...Next week is the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, where Edoardo Molinari is the defending champion.