Ross has found form at just the right time
For several years now, I’ve been monitoring the progress of a young man who I always felt had the potential of becoming a future major champion.
Playing from Wentworth, down the road from me, Ross Fisher caught the eye from a very young age, but has never quite had the breaks needed to force his way into the world’s elite.
Winning the KLM Open last year might have proved the catalyst for a breakthrough, but since then he has undergone a series of knock-backs, which must have been hard to take.
Hurt like Hell
First, there was a dramatic collapse the BMW PGA Championship at his home course last year, where he had a share of the lead going into the final round, only to finish with an 84. That must have hurt like hell.
Then, there was the Champions event in Shanghai, when he chipped into water at the last when a shot clear before eventually losing out in a playoff to Phil Mickelson.
So, how pleasing it was to see Ross finally exorcise those demons with a superb victory in the European Open at the weekend, finishing seven clear shots of Sergio Garcia.
Without a single practice round at the beautiful London Golf Club, Ross blitzed the field with a scintillating 63, beating Seve Ballesteros’s 24-year course record. And he never looked back as a 68,69 and closing 68 saw him finish on an impressive 20-under-par.
As a result, Ross has now leapt from 23rd to sixth in the Order of Merit, and, interestingly, from 21st to 11th in the Ryder Cup standings. He’s also now knocking on the day of a place in the world’s top 50 and with a Tiger-less Open Championship just ten days away, it’s form players like Ross who are worth keeping an eye on.
As for me, I enjoyed a mixed weekend in the Russian Open, but returned encouraged ahead of the Senior Open Championship at Troon in three weeks time. An opening round 73 was followed with a season’s best 64, leaving me three shots behind leader Ian Woosnam going into the last round.
But in dreadful conditions, I dropped two shots on the fifth and never recovered – a 78 leaving me having to settle for a share of eighth. Woosie may b celebrating a second win in his maiden year, but he knows I’m creeping up on him.