Sunday, July 6, 2008
Fisher responds at European Open
England’s Ross Fisher goes into the fourth and final day of the European Open at Ash in Kent with a three-shot lead over Graeme McDowell.
Fisher shot a 69, 16-under for the tournament, whilst McDowell hit a 71 to end the penultimate day three shots off the pace.
McDowell had started the better of the two, making birdies on the fifth, seventh and eighth to be out in 34 and move to 14-under-par overall.
Fisher was three behind at one point, after struggling with winds of 50 kms.
The big-hitting Englishman hit bogeys at the second and seventh before birdies at the eighth and ninth took him to the turn in 36 to move back to 13-under.
It was a different story for the pair on the back nine, however.
An eagle on 15 and a birdie on 18 gave Fisher a score of 69 for the day, whilst, though McDowell also eagled 15, he bogeyed 11, 16 and 18 to end the day on 71.
Fisher's birdie on the 18th was the first at the hole on the day, and he admitted that his aggressive attitude helped him.
"It's a great finishing hole from a spectator's point of view, but a bit of a pain from a player's point of view," said Fisher.
"When I hit my drive I was just thinking 'please carry the water, carry the water' and you could probably see the huge relief. I think mine may have caused Graeme to take a more aggressive line."
South African David Frost is in third place on 10-under following a 69. His bogey at the last prevented his recording the only blemish free round of the day.
Joint fourth on eight under are Ireland's Paul McGinley, Dane Soren Hansen and Swede Michael Jonzon.
Ross Fisher responded to the gauntlet thrown down by Graeme McDowell to draw level with the Ulsterman in the second round of the European Open.
McDowell carded a 67 with six birdies and a bogey to reach 12-under at halfway.
But the overnight leader, Fisher, who began his second round on nine-under, picked up birdies at the third, fifth and eighth holes to draw level with fellow Ryder Cup hopeful McDowell.
"My job was to keep the foot on the pedal and keep it going," McDowell said.
"I'll take 12-under at halfway every week, whether it leads or not, and I fully expect to be in the mix come Sunday afternoon."
Sergio Garcia, in the same group as McDowell, made up for a modest opening round of 71 with a scintillating 64 to reach nine-under and hold third place.
The highlight of the Spaniard’s round was an eagle-three at the eighth to compliment six birdies and a bogey at the London Golf Club.
Paul McGinley  trailed the leaders by five shots after recovering from a bad start to keep his hopes alive of qualifying for the Open.
The Irishman, who dropped three strokes in the last two holes on Thursday, three-putted the 11th but retrieved the situation with five birdies.
48-year-old David Frost  dropped a shot at the last as the South African also reached seven-under.
Things were not so bright though for Justin Rose  who double-bogeyed the 18th to sit a distant 10 shots off the pace.