Stephen Gallacher second at the halfway stage in Portugal
England’s Ross Fisher overcame an injury scare to move a step closer to his fifth European Tour title yesterday, while Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was unable to match his excellent opening round of 65, but stayed in contention by holding on to a share of second place.
The 31-year-old Fisher slipped walking off the first tee when he resumed the Portugal Masters and feared for a while he might have to withdraw. But after a physio was called for and strapping applied to his left foot, Fisher battled on and, thanks in large part to a 22-foot eagle putt on the long 17th, added a 67 to his opening 65.
“I didn’t think anything of it at first and, for two or three holes, it was okay, but then it started to get really sore,” he said.
“The physio told me I was not doing any damage by playing on. It was uncomfortable for a while, I was feeling it again at the end and I’m just very relieved to get through. To be leading is very, very pleasing. It was really difficult to get through the ball and it made it quite challenging to pick the right club.”
On ten under par at halfway, Fisher leads by three from Stephen Gallacher – who recorded a second-round 70 – and Austrian Bernd Wiesberger.
Gallacher, yet to have a bogey, is seeking only his second victory in nearly 400 Tour events, but Wiesberger has already had two this season.
Fisher last tasted success at the Irish Open two years ago, a victory which helped to secure him a Ryder Cup debut at Celtic Manor. Since partnering Padraig Harrington to two wins against the Americans, however, he has managed only one top-five finish and finds himself down at 140th in the world.
Gallacher’s compatriots have work to do if they are to feature on the upper reaches of the leaderboard. Peter Whiteford is nine off the lead after adding a 71 to his first-round 70, with George Murray, Craig Lee and David Drysdale on second-round totals of 142, 143 and 144 respectively.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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