WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV (August 6, 2009)--Tim Fisher had just defended his title at the West Virginia Amateur Thursday when 12-time winner Pat Carter, who had just lost by one stroke, paid him perhaps the ultimate compliment.
"He's the best player in the state. I feel he's definitely the best amateur," Carter said.
Using a lighter grip on his putter than previous rounds, Fisher birdied four holes on the front nine of the Old White course to forge ahead of third-round leader Carter and held on for a one-stroke victory at The Greenbrier resort.
Playing a group ahead of Carter, Fisher made a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole. When Carter missed his birdie putt on the 18th, Fisher had his third Amateur title overall.
"I was just lucky enough to come in on top," Fisher said. "I kind of stumbled in."
Not bad considering he began the tournament with a triple bogey on the second hole and shot 3-over 75. He also won his first title in 2005 after shooting 75 in the first round.
Fisher started the day three strokes behind Carter. Fisher's 3-under-par 67 was the only under-par round Thursday and he finished at 1-over for the tournament. Carter made three bogeys on the front nine and recovered to shoot 71.
The winning score was the highest since Carter's last win in 2006 at 1 over.
"I put myself one too many times this week behind the eight ball," Carter said. "I played well on the back nine to finish. I was not disappointed in that. To me overall it was a pretty good tournament."
Carter said the difference between his game and Fisher's comes down to working on fundamentals throughout the year.
"There's no question. It all comes down to the amount of practice time you put in," Carter said.
Anthony Reale, the 2007 champion, finished third at 5 over. He's the only player to finish third or better in each of the last four Amateurs. Hurricane's Sam O'Dell was fourth at 6 over.
Fisher joins Forrest McNeill, F.G. Bannerot Jr., Tom Brand and Barney Thompson as three-time winners of the Amateur. Bill Campbell holds the record with 15, followed by Carter (12), E.M. Tutwiler (11), Julius Pollock Jr. (9) and Harold Payne (5).
View results for West Virginia Amateur Golf Championship