As someone that has spent time down at the local practice facility the last few years with Todd Fischer, it’s been interesting to see how the former PGA Tour professional has been eager to turn 50.

While most people don’t look forward to hitting the big 5-0, Fisch – as he is known to his friends – had been looking forward to his August 23 birthday.

Hitting 50 meant he could play on the PGA Champions Tour. After hitting the big birthday, he tried to qualify into a Tour stop in Canada but missed by a few shots. After a taking a week off, he boarded a plane, headed to Michigan to try to qualify into the Ally Challenge.

This time he was successful, finishing tied for third and earning a spot in the main field of the tournament that starts Friday.

Yep, 50 never looked so good.

“It’s gotten me to be able to play golf again,” said Fischer of turning 50, over the phone from Flint, Michigan on Wednesday. “Now I can go for it.”

He got to Michigan on Saturday and had a returned flight booked Monday night. But qualifying changed all that and now he’s back in a PGA Tour tournament.

“It’s like being back home again – this is where I belong,” said Fischer. “I’ve got a warm reception from everyone out here. I had a number of guys come up and tell me they are glad to have me back out here.”

Fischer was full-time on the PGA Tour from 2003 through the 2006 season, with his best season coming in 2004 when he was No. 94 on the money list with $847,996 in earnings and four top 10 finishes. His best finish that year was a tie for third at the Valero Texas Open.

Now he’s back with many of the players he competed against on the PGA Tour and he’s got the perks back – at least for this week. He’s got the courtesy car and the reserved parking spot at the course.

There also the new PGA Tour rule that allows players the play practice rounds in shorts, which Fischer took advantage of Wednesday.

As for his game he’s not 100 percent of where he would like to be, but now he can play his way into it.

“I’m still off a bit,” said Fischer. “My body is not right where I want it – I wanted to be a little more fit.”

The format is different than the PGA Tour that has two rounds, then a cut for the tournament. The Champions Tour is three rounds with no cut.

“It’s kind of like a shootout,” said Fischer. “I can go for it.”

Fischer is set for an 11:30 a.m. (8:30 a.m. PDT) tee time in the first round. The tournament will be shown on the Golf Channel from 3-5 p.m. He is paired with fellow qualifiers Mark Walker and Dennis Hendershott.

Check back her at www.acesgolf.com for updates of Fischer’s performance.

By Dennis Miller

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