Sunday, 21 August 2011

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Oliver Fisher finished the back nine with a hattrick of birdies to take control of the Czech Open at Prosper Golf Report.

The 22 year old Englishman, seeking his maiden European Tour title, started the day level with Scotland’s Steven O’Hara on ten under par, but surged ahead as he turned in a three under 33.

Playing in bright sunshine, the last pair out never looked in troubled but produced few fireworks as both parred the first six holes.

That allowed Fisher’s compatriot Gary Boyd to briefly join them in a share of the lead, last year’s runner-up birdieing the second and fifth, the latter from 20 feet.

But Fisher, having made his first gain of the day at the seventh, struck approaches within five feet at the next two to reach 13 under par.

Boyd scrambled an unlikely birdie from the rough at the ninth by running a nine iron to 15 feet to also turn in 33 and be two behind on 11 under.

O’Hara never deviated from par in an outward 36 to be third with Swede Mikael Lundberg, the halfway leader carding birdies at the seventh and tenth.

Boyd was in trouble at the par five tenth from the moment his drive found a bunker and his bogey six left Fisher three in front.

O’Hara and Fisher didn’t play the tenth much better – Fisher’s ball bouncing off a telegraph pole at one point – but he was the only one to walk off with a par as O’Hara fell four back.

Boyd also bogeyed the 11th, and so it was Lundberg – who lost his card last year and has been struggling to make an impact on The Challenge Tour for much of 2011 - who was second on his own at 11 under after a birdie at the same hole.

Fisher’s approach to the 11th came up short of the green and the former amateur star failed to get up-and-down, reducing his lead to one.

Lundberg sunk a ten foot putt for birdie after a fine tee shot at the short 15th – his fourth gain in eight holes – and the two-time European Tour winner suddenly had a share of the lead.

And when Fisher came up short again at the 13th – this time in the bunker – then failed once more to scramble par, Lundberg was on his own atop the leaderboard.

Fisher responded with a brilliant approach at the 14th to a couple of feet and with the resulting birdie tied once more with Lundberg on 12 under, with O’Hara two behind after his first gain of the day on the 13th.

Paraguay’s Fabrizio Zanotti, 120th on The Race to Dubai coming into the event, secured his card for next year and set the clubhouse target on nine under with a round of 66.

The leaders dropped shots on par threes at almost exactly the same time – Lundberg at the 17th as Fisher three-putted the 15th.

But Fisher responded with a birdie at the par five 16th from 30 feet.

O’Hara’s challenge was effectively over when he four-putted the same green, as Lundberg parred the last for a 69 to set the clubhouse target at 11 under.

Fisher sunk a 25 footer at the 17th to hold a two shot advantage as he approached the final tee.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1FISHER, OliverENG18-13
2LUNDBERG, MikaelSWE18-11
3ZANOTTI, FabrizioPAR18-9
4BOYD, GaryENG18-8
T5GAGLI, LorenzoITA18-7
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