England’s Oliver Fisher produced a superb bogey-free opening score of five under par 66 at the testing Golf National to take the early clubhouse lead on day one of the Open de France ALSTOM.
The 19 year old carded nine threes on his first round scorecard to lead former US Open Champion Angel Cabrera of Argentina by a single stroke on the clubhouse leaderboard, with six players – including recent Bank Austria GolfOpen presented by Telekom Austria champion Jeev Milkha Singh – on three under.
Former Open de France champion Phil Golding joined Colin Montgomerie in the seven strong group on two under but it was Fisher who seized the early initiative to take the lead.
The young Englishman is hoping to go one better than his second place finish at this year’s Open de Andalucia, where he lost a sudden-death play-off to Frenchman Thomas Levet.
“I just played nicely all day,” said Fisher. “I have been putting a lot of hard work over the last few weeks. Last week I played nicely – I shot 71-70-71-71 last week so it was consistent – and today I just went out there and did what I normally do and made a few putts on the par fours. It was a solid round.
“I think my near-miss in Spain was a great confidence boost for me. To be paired with Lee Westwood in the last two rounds and to outplay him by a couple of shots was good in itself.
“Obviously I lost in the play-off but that was really the first time that I have been in contention. We all know that I have had a good amateur career and won amateur titles but it’s a matter of improving and competing with the best guys in Europe now and I am improving and getting more experience every week.”