Ryder Cup winner Ross Fisher is bound for the Portugal Masters this week looking forward to some warm Algarve weather after two weeks of tough conditions in Wales and Scotland.
The Englishman was part of Europe’s 14½-13½ defeat of the United States at The Celtic Manor Resort, where torrential rain led to the first Monday finish in the contest’s history, and he then went straight to Scotland for the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Although it was mainly dry at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie, the strong winds and cold temperatures made it another tough week, and Fisher cannot wait to feel some sunshine at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura.
“Let’s hope it’s sunny there,” said Fisher, who is 13th in the current Race to Dubai. “I could do with some good weather. It has been a very nice in the past. I’ve had enough rain in the last week and a half to last me a lifetime so a bit of sunshine will be very nice.
“I really enjoyed playing at Oceânico Victoria last year. It’s a lovely course – pretty long, which suits my game. I’ve got a good record there and went close a couple of years ago. It’s a place where I usually seem to do well so hopefully that’s the case next week.”
Fisher might have been forgiven for being tired after such a hectic playing schedule over the last two weeks, but he added: “I haven’t really found it difficult to be honest. I’ve just tried to continue my form. When you are playing well you don’t feel tired. The Ryder Cup was a great week and I feel like my game is in good shape and it’s continued this week – overall a decent week – and I’m looking forward to next week now.
“My attention has switched back to The Race to Dubai now, definitely. I finished fourth last year and it would be disappointing not to finish better than that this season. I’ve obviously got a bit of work to do in order to achieve that but I’ve moved up a bit this week and I’ve got some big tournaments coming up so it’s not over yet.”
Fisher’s Ryder Cup team-mates Miguel Angel Jiménez and brothers Edoardo and Francesco Molinari are also in the field in Portugal, as are Europe’s Vice-Captains Paul McGinley and Thomas Björn.
It will be Jiménez’s first competitive action after his fine performance at The Celtic Manor Resort, where he won a crucial point in the final day singles by beating Bubba Watson, and he will be looking to climb further up The Race to Dubai – he is currently eighth - with a good performance in Vilamoura.
Similarly, Edoardo Molinari, the highest-ranked player in the field in The Race to Dubai, will be looking to make up ground on the six players above him.
However, another of Europe’s Ryder Cup heroes Lee Westood, will not be in Portugal to defend his title because of a recurrence of a calf injury. The Englishman triumphed by two shots from Francesco Molinari a year ago, and the victory sparked a rich vein of form which led to him winning the Dubai World Championship presented by DP World and with it The Race to Dubai.
Westwood battled hard to be fit for The Ryder Cup but admitted the demands of two weeks’ consecutive tournaments have led to the setback in his recovery.