Georgia Southern’s Steven Fisk healthy, back on a tear

Georgia Southern

Georgia Southern’s Steven Fisk healthy, back on a tear

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Georgia Southern’s Steven Fisk healthy, back on a tear

When Steven Fisk blitzed to a pair of wins, a near 59 and a top-5 ranking last fall, it took many outside of the Georgia Southern program by surprise.

But this fall was even more of a shock to the man himself.

“To be honest, this was a lot more unexpected,” Fisk said.

The Georgia Southern senior dominated the early part of the season even more. Fisk won the final four events of the 2018-19 fall. He’s believed to be the first Division I men’s player to win four tournaments in a row since North Carolina State’s Matt Hill in 2009.

It may have been Fisk’s second consecutive dominant fall, but the surprise factor of this run has its origins dating to the spring.

After placing no worse than sixth in any tournament last fall, Fisk managed just three top-10s in seven 2018 spring starts. The dip was not precipitous by any measure, yet it was noticeable. And it wasn’t random.

Fisk began the spring healthy but started feeling discomfort in the lower left part of his back by March. It turned out to be a muscular issue – nothing necessitating surgery, but an injury that would require him to shut down and rest.

That wasn’t an option for Fisk as he looked to keep churning during the spring season. So he played through it. With his mobility restricted, Fisk often couldn’t get his lower body to clear quickly enough through the ball to hit his trusty cut and thus couldn’t execute the shots he wanted.

“I probably went about two months without being able to hit a shot that I pictured before I hit it,” Fisk said.

After the spring season, Fisk took it easy to get his health back. He only played two events all summer and took a week of complete rest on a few occasions. But he was thrown another curveball in July when he developed a fever as he embarked on a U.S. Amateur qualifier.

He had to withdraw from the qualifier after the opening 18 as his condition worsened, and doctor visits revealed he had bacterial pneumonia. Fisk eventually had to go to the hospital, where his temperature spiked to 105.7 degrees.

Fisk was in the hospital for six days, hooked up to oxygen and an IV, and lost roughly 10 pounds during his stay. After he was released, Fisk was prescribed an antibiotic for two weeks and advised by doctors to rest.

He obliged.

“I needed to be 100 percent as soon as possible,” Fisk said.

From the time of the qualifier to returning to school, Fisk essentially didn’t pick up a club for three weeks. With the sudden illness and these precautions, Fisk wasn’t sure when he would feel fully ready in his health or in his game.

Fisk would open the fall with a disappointing T-17, but he did feel healthy and it was more rust in his game that led to the result. By the practice round of the following tournament, he could feel his game was back.

The senior doesn’t think much has changed in his game since last fall, although minor alterations do appear. His back issue still flares up from time to time, with much less severity. When lower-back tightness reemerges, Fisk simply knows he’ll likely have to rely on hitting a draw that day.

What’s made matters easier, too, is a change in equipment. Fisk switched out his irons shortly before the fall season, opting for a thinner set that allows him to work and flight the ball better. He can hit the ball higher if he wants to stop it more quickly and more easily can play a draw if needed.

“I think they’ve been a big help this semester in me being able to create shots judging by how I feel physically,” Fisk said.

Overall, though, Fisk’s routines remain similar.

Last fall he noted that he eats “at best like an elementary school kid,” as his diet is basically “consume whatever you want.” Fisk is especially fond of Cherry Coke and joked that he refused to eat salad. When a teammate saw Fisk eating an apple one time, his first thought was confusion.

Those dietary habits haven’t changed. He doesn’t have people commenting much that he should alter what he eats, but…

“Even if I did, I would keep doing what I was doing,” Fisk said.

That mindset has steered him to several wins the last two falls. Why change now? Gwk

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