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Thursday, 08 May 2014
Oliver Fisher   (Getty Images)
Oliver Fisher (Getty Images)
Oliver Fisher will be hoping he can make his good form this season count and claim a second European Tour victory at the Madeira Islands Open – Portugal – BPI this week.

The Englishman is the highest-ranked player at Clube de Golf do Santo da Serra, situated on the picturesque Portuguese island of Madeira, sitting at 48th place in The Race to Dubai after an impressive start to the 2014 campaign.

In nine appearances this season, the 25 year old has only missed one cut and came agonisingly close to another career title at the Africa Open, where he was defeated by Thomas Aiken in a play-off.

A tie for sixth at last month’s NH Collection Open has left Fisher in a strong position to retain his European Tour rights in 2015, despite being limited by his playing category after a difficult 2013 campaign.

Unsurprisingly, the Londoner is in confident mood, although he knows not to take anything for granted at a course upon which he missed the cut in his only appearance.

“It’s going to be a good week,” said Fisher, who finished runner-up in this event in 2010, at the alternate venue Porto Santo Golfe. “I've played 18 holes here and the course is firm but you never know what you’re going to get here in Madeira. The weather can be beautiful down at sea level but you come up here and it can be windy and cool.

“It will be a week for patience and just trying your best and whatever happens, happens. It has a lot of humps and bumps so you can hit good shots and get a little lucky and you can hit bad shots and get away with it so patience is key.

“I'm looking forward to the week though. I just need to go out there and enjoy it and take it for what it is, just do my best.”

Once tipped as one of the most promising young amateurs in the world having been chosen as the youngest player to play in the Walker Cup in 2005, aged 16, Fisher believes he is coming into a run of form and consistency that could take him to new heights in his professional career.

“I am happy with my season so far,” said the 2011 Czech Open winner. “I've been more consistent and that’s the key thing. My driver has been better and my long game in general. I've putted well in the last few weeks and been more consistent too so if you’re playing steady like that you can turn up every week and feel like you don’t need to waste too much energy hitting balls on the range or working on the game.

“I can focus on playing the course and my strategy and hitting the ball where I want it to go rather that thinking about my swing all the time. I feel good mentally and I'm not far away from playing well.

“It’s all been moving in the right direction and my consistency has been the key to better results. I set off pretty well at the start of the year and my goals were always going to be re-evaluated at around this time of the year.

“I've done well early on so I can pretty much European Tour as and when I get into the events whereas if I didn’t play that well I would probably be focussing on Challenge Tour for the rest of the season. 

“That’s been the main goal, just to get high up in The Race to Dubai. I probably need more money to get over the mark but I'm in a good position hopefully I can press on later in the year.

“At the end of the day, I know I'm good enough to do what I want to do out here. It’s just about having your game in the right place and being consistent enough to be able to achieve what you want to achieve.

“You can only score as well as you’re playing. You can’t go out and struggle and expect to go four or five under par. Everybody out here is pretty good so it’s about believing in myself and keep trying and you never know what’s around the corner.“

Fisher heads a strong field at the elevated island venue, close to the town of Funchal, which includes his namesake and former Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson.

Ricardo Santos also returns to the event which turned his career around in 2012 when he became the first home winner of a Portuguese event in European Tour history, while his compatriot José-Filipe Lima will also be confident of a strong performance after claiming a top ten finish here last year.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1BROOKS, DanielENG18-9
2HENRY, ScottSCO18-9
T3ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-6
T3HORTAL, AntonioESP18-6
T3GARCIA PINTO, JordiESP18-6
T3GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-6
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