CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Tim Fisher always has had the ability to put the past behind him, and doesn't see a difference when he steps onto the tee at the Old White TPC to play in his favorite tournament - the State Amateur - for the first time in three years.
The Statts Mills resident and native of Charleston's West Side will be 18 days removed from two suspensions that totaled three years and disallowed him to participate in any West Virginia Golf Association events.
His time away hasn't slowed his game much, but it has given the 1998 Class AAA state champion from Ripley High School time to reflect.
"I think the last three years I've become a much better person and I was able to spend some time away," Fisher said. "You get older and get a little smarter."
In July 2010, Fisher pulled out of the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship without following protocol and was subsequently suspended by the United States Golf Association. Fisher had survived two rounds of stroke play and didn't show up for his match play tee time, instead opting to return to the Kanawha Valley to play in the W.Va. Open.
The WVGA followed suit with a one-year suspension. In 2011, Fisher was suspended for two years for what WVGA Executive Director Ken Tackett described as "a breach of our code of conduct." His suspension ended on July 17.
Tackett said he's looking forward to Fisher returning to the WVGA and has no reservations about the 32-year-old's past.
"We want the best players and he's definitely one of the best players in the state," Tackett said.
"The only thing we look for in our players is to uphold the integrity and traditions of the game. That's for all players."
Fisher's three Amateur titles provide him a lifetime exemption into the event, but his suspension also has kept him out of some of the state's most competitive tournaments like the Four-Ball, Mid-Amateur, Open and the Amateur.
"(Being suspended) isn't the best thing in the world, but I didn't lose any friendships over it," he said. "I still talk with people at my home club (Green Hills Country Club) and the guys there still embraced me. Answering the same questions over and over gets old, but I put it all behind me and I'm ready to play golf."
He'll join a field at the 94th Amateur seeking his fourth championship. Fisher has played in every Amateur from 1998 when he finished third as a 17-year-old, until 2010 when he lost a five-stroke lead in the final eight holes to finish second to Jonathan Bartlett.