Originally created 05/16/02

Finding Fischer



Maybe the good vibes she gets from Mount Vintage Plantation Golf Club will help Tina Fischer find what she calls the "on" switch that will jump start her dormant golf game.

The Asahi Ryokuken International Championship's defending champion has been trying to rediscover the kind of play that carried her to victory at Mount Vintage in the tour's final full-field event, in September.

She carried that momentum over to this season, finishing tied for 15th in the season-opening Takefuji Classic. After tying for 73rd the next week, Fischer has missed five of the last six cuts and ranks 88th on the money list with $17,222.

"If I knew where the 'on switch' is, I'd turn it on," the 31-year-old Fischer said Wednesday after playing in the pro-am. "I've always been a streaky player. I wish I was a little more consistent, like a top 20 or 30 player. That's what I'm working on. Maybe this will be my week."

It was in September, when Fischer shot 70-66-70-206 to win the rain-shortened Asahi Ryokuken International Championship by one shot. It made Fischer the first German-born winner of an LPGA Tour event.

"I can say I've won this tournament, which is nice," Fischer said. "I feel good about the golf course, which is very important. This golf course is very different from the other golf courses we play because of all the elevation changes.

"I like it, obviously," Fischer said of Mount Vintage. "I come here and feel really good about it. I don't say, 'This is very difficult,' or 'I don't know how to do this.' I can just go play, which is nice. Being here where I won will give me some of the confidence that I really need right now. I need something good to happen."

Putting problems are to blame for the rise of her scoring average from 73.07 last season to 75.37 this year. She's averaging 31 putts a round, which ranks 107th on the tour.

"I think players will tell you they are never 100 percent perfect during their rounds and it comes down to your putting and short game," Fischer said. "I have been working so long on my putting and short game and making the putts drop. That's what makes all the difference, when the putts start going in for the score."

Fischer doesn't have trouble being accurate with her 9-wood, which she carries instead of a 4-iron. In the final round of last year's tournament at Mount Vintage, Fischer hit her drive on the par-4 18th hole in an area that would leave her a 9-wood shot to the green. She was on target, hitting the green and two-putting for the victory.

"The utility woods have gotten so good over the years and it's easier for me to hit than a (medium) iron because of the height they get," Fischer said.

When Fischer won here, she was a nonexempt player on the LPGA Tour. The victory gave her a three-year exemption and some much-needed security.

"I can now take some tournaments off and pick and chose more tournament weeks to take off," Fischer said. "I don't need to rush off or rush in to play some weeks just to get in. I now also have the opportunity to play in all the majors this year and I have never played in a major."

Reach David Westin at (706) 724-0851.