O'Hara and Fisher lead the way

20/08/2011 16:24:42
England’s Oliver Fisher and Scotland’s Steven O’Hara moved two clear of the field after three rounds of the Czech Open at Prosper Golf Resort.

O’Hara charged from outside the top ten at the start of the day with a sparkling 65 to reach ten under, where he was joined late in the day by Fisher, who signed for a 68.

The pair were two clear of halfway leader Mikael Lundberg, last year’s runner-up Gary Boyd and India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar, who signed for a best-of-the-day 64.

Fisher made just one cut in his first 21 events this season, but showed signs of improvement by finishing 35th in Sweden and 45th in Ireland last month.

The 22 year old birdied the ninth from ten feet to turn in 34, holed his approach to the 11th for eagle and came back from a bogey at the 12th by birdieing the 16th from eight feet.

“I’m really enjoying my golf at the moment, and I’ve got a great caddie on the bag,” said Fisher.

“I had a lot of fun out there – it’s where you want to be, not struggling to make the cut. It’s been a while since I’ve led a tournament, but I’m holding it together pretty well at the moment. 

“I’m looking forward to it tomorrow. I’ve always held my own whenever I’ve been in contention in the past. Obviously I haven’t won before, but I’ve given myself a good chance tomorrow, and that’s all I can ask for. My game’s good enough, and I just want to have fun. 

“There are times this season when I haven’t enjoyed being out there, so I’m going to make the most of it now. I’ve just got to stay in the present. What will be, will be.” 

O’Hara’s good form was also somewhat out of the blue – the 31 year old having missed five consecutive cuts coming into the event.

His round was bogey-free with seven birdies, including a fine approach to six feet at the seventh.

“I started [the season] really well, then went through a funny patch where I wasn’t striking the ball well,” he said. “But I’ve been striking it very well for the past two or three months, just haven’t been making any putts.

“I’ve been making my fair share this week, and my scores have reflected that. My driving and greens in regulation stats have been pretty good, so if I could just become even an average putter, I probably wouldn’t be struggling like I have done. I’ve been guilty of changing my putter every other week in the past, but I’ve found one I like and I’m in a good groove on the greens now, so I think I’m just going to stick with it.” 

Bhullar – who like Fisher carded an eagle two, his coming with an 80 yard wedge shot at the 13th – revealed the good weather had made him feel at home.

“I’ve played The Open at Turnberry in 2009 and the Omega European Masters for the past two years, and the weather hasn’t been great. But this week it’s been perfect, and it feels like heaven on earth. I’m loving it,” he said. 

England’s Boyd was delighted to keep himself in the hunt with an inward 32.

“I was probably on my way out of the tournament after shooting two over on the front nine, especially with the guys behind me making birdies,” he said. “But I holed a nice putt on the tenth, and that kind of kick-started my recovery. 

“I had a good finish again today with birdies at three of the last five holes, and I also lipped out on 17. The three-putt on 16 didn’t help, but it was nice to roll one in on the last.”