Friday, 19 March 2010

England's Ross Fisher has maintained his brilliant run of form to move into contention for The Barclays Scottish Open title at Loch Lomond Golf Club.

Fisher won The European Open by seven shots from Sergio Garcia on Sunday, just days after securing his place in the Open Championship through the 36-hole qualifying competition at Sunningdale.

The 27 year old led from start to finish after an opening course-record 63 at The London Golf Club, and moved from 21st to 11th in the Ryder Cup standings.

Playing alongside World Number Two Phil Mickelson in the opening two rounds this week, Fisher outscored the American by a shot to lie five under par at the halfway stage.

And in testing, windy conditions on Saturday Fisher proceeded to overcame a slow start to move into a share of second place on a highly congested leaderboard.

After a bogey five on the opening hole, Fisher picked up birdies at the sixth and ninth to be out in 35, but it was a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th that really boosted his chances of back-to-back titles on The European Tour and a third overall.

At nine under par Fisher shared second with Miguel Angel Jimenez and England's Simon Khan, one behind Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell.

McDowell also began the day on five under and after reaching the turn in 34, birdied the 11th and 12th and eagled the 14th, recording his only bogey of the day so far on the par-five 13th.

The clubhouse target had been set at seven under by Adam Scott and Ian Poulter, the duo carding matching 68s. That represented a superb recovery from Scott, the World Number Three, who began the tournament with a triple bogey seven on his opening hole and is playing with a broken bone in his right hand.

And playing partner Poulter was delighted to play himself into contention just one shot off a current six-way tie for the lead.

"It was a tricky day, the wind was swirling and a little bit stronger than the last couple of days," said Poulter. "The pins were also tucked away so to shoot three under was pretty good and I'm back in contention, which is nice.

"I've played this course well the last few years and if I can keep doing what I am doing and hole a few more putts I'm going to keep making my way up."

Scott was keen to forget his ordeal on the 17th. He said: "“Coming to the 18th, I knew I made the mistake, I just needed to focus. You have to leave those things behind you, which, you know, you've got to be a bit focused and obviously I wasn't on 17. But got to leave it there, and 18 is a tough hole, a lot of trouble if you are not focused.

"I feel like I do have a low one in me for sure. And you know, I might need it tomorrow."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1MCDOWELL, GraemeNIR18-13
2KINGSTON, JamesRSA18-11
T3JIMÉNEZ, Miguel AngelESP18-10
T3GREEN, RichardAUS18-10
5KHAN, SimonENG18-9
T6DINWIDDIE, RobertENG18-8
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