Fisher vindicates decision to play with course record 63
JUST days after wondering if he was too tired to give the European Open his best shot, Ross Fisher produced the lowest round of his Tour career yesterday.
The 27-year-old from Surrey, whose biggest impact previously this season was to blow a chance to beat Phil Mickelson with a closing triple bogey eight, broke The London Club course record with a nine-under 63.
"A little bit surreal," said Fisher, who despite the windy conditions finished with six successive birdies to leave some of the biggest names on the circuit trailing in his wake. He leads by two from Graeme McDowell.
"It's probably the best, most solid round of golf I've played and on the front nine (he began on the tenth] the hole was as big as a bucket."
Winner of his first Tour title in Holland last August, Fisher came through the 36-hole Open qualifier at Sunningdale on Monday and discussed with his manager how much he had left in the tank for this week.
Asked if he considered pulling out, he replied: "I sort of had a thought about it. I was feeling pretty tired, but how do you pull out of an event when you live only 40 minutes away?"
While six players were chosen at random for testing on the first day of golf's new anti-doping era, Fisher kicked off with two birdies, did not have to wait long for two more and, after bogeying the short 17th, covered the outward half in 30.
That included sinking a bunker shot on the 187-yard seventh and hitting a massive drive on the dogleg 448-yard ninth that, to his disbelief, came up 20 yards short of the green.
Defending champion Colin Montgomerie went round in 70 as he tries to follow up his runners-up finish in France, along with fellow Scot, Stephen Gallacher. Alastair Forsyth struck a par 72 while Paul Lawrie, Andrew Oldcorn, Gary Orr and Peter Whiteford all finished at one over. Marc Warren endured a miserable round finishing with a nine-over 81 – two shots behind Scott Drummond.
Paul McGinley was six under with two to play, but followed a bogey on the short 17th with a drive into water for a closing double bogey six and a 69.
Playing partner Justin Rose shot the same, while Darren Clarke, like McGinley striving for a top-five finish to qualify for The Open, returned a 71 like Sergio Garcia.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east