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W.Va. amateur faces second suspension

All of a sudden, Tim Fisher is running out of places to play golf.

The U.S. Golf Association suspended Fisher for one year after what officials said was an improper withdrawal from the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship last month. Now, Fisher’s homestate West Virginia Golf Association has added its own measure of discipline. The WVGA handed down a similar suspension, effective through July 17, 2011, for “conduct unbecoming of a WVGA member.’’

Messages left by Golfweek on Fisher’s home and cell phones were not immediately returned.

Fisher, 29, of Statts Mills, is a three-time West Virginia Amateur champion. He had advanced from 36-hole stroke-play qualifying in the Public Links at Bryan Park Golf Course in Greensboro, N.C. However, when match play began on July 14, Fisher had returned to West Virginia for the State Open, which began that day at Sleepy Hollow Golf Club in Hurricane, where he eventually finished second.

David Fay, the USGA’s executive director, notified Fisher by letter last week of the suspension. Ken Tackett, the WVGA’s executive director, announced Fisher’s state-level ban in a news release Thursday.

Fisher told the Charleston Daily Mail after the Open’s first round that he had agonized over his early exit from the Public Links.

“I thought about it for a while,” he said. “The deciding factor was (West Virginia) Player of the Year points. I really want to win Player of the Year.”

Fisher shot 69-68-67 for a 9-under 204 total, losing to David Bradshaw by one stroke when the champion rolled in a sliding putt on the final hole.

“West Virginia has four majors,” Fisher told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch, alluding to the State Open, Amateur, Mid-Amateur and Four-Ball tournaments. “I’ve been lucky enough to win two (Amateur and Four-Ball). I need all four. It would give me diversity and make it complete.”

Fisher, the reigning WVGA Player of the Year, already had qualified for the USGA State Team Matches on Sept. 14-16 at Mayacama (Calif.) Golf Club.

“My goal is to be player of the year,” he told the Herald-Dispatch. “This gave me the best chance.’’

That chance, like the State Open title, has been lost now.

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