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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2008 > European Tour > European Open > Round 4


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Ross Fisher coasts to seven shot victory

Britain’s Ross Fisher, who contemplated pulling out of the European Open at the start of the week, banished any thoughts of fatigue to gallop to a seven-shot victory in Sunday’s final round.

The 27-year-old clinched his second tour win with a 68 for a 20-under-par total of 268 on a wet and windy day at the London Club, rounding off the tournament in memorable style by holing out from a greenside bunker for a closing birdie at the 18th.

World number eight Sergio Garcia took second place after defying the elements with a sparkling, best-of-the-day 66.

“To beat a star-studded field like this is really pleasing,” Fisher told Sky television. “It may have looked easy but it certainly wasn’t.

“I felt really calm all day, really composed and to finish with a bunker shot like that was delightful.”

Fisher, who led from start to finish after firing a course record 63 in the opening round, began the day three clear of fellow Briton Graeme McDowell.

But there was little doubt about who would pick up the first prize of 400,000 pounds ($793,600) after McDowell double-bogeyed the short third, his wayward tee shot finding the water.

The big-hitting Fisher effectively drove the final nail in his playing partner’s coffin two holes later by ramming in a 60-foot putt for an eagle three.

On Thursday, the fast-improving Englishman said recent golfing exertions had left him drained and he entertained thoughts of withdrawing. “But how do you pull out of an event when you only live 40 minutes away?,” he added.

Fisher, who had never seen the course before Thursday’s first round, soared from 104th to 56th in the world rankings after winning for the first time since the Dutch Open last August and claiming the biggest cheque of his career.

Garcia’s seven-birdie effort earned a total of 275 in his last competitive outing ahead of the British Open at Royal Birkdale in two weeks’ time.

“I managed to play pretty good in the conditions,” said the Spaniard. “I putted really well.

“Now I know what Tiger Woods feels like 98 percent of the time he gets on the greens. It is a great feeling.”

McDowell (73) was third on 276 on a miserable day for scoring at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Heritage course.

“My start wasn’t what I dreamed of,” said the Northern Irishman. “It was the start which woke me up in the middle of the night.

“Conditions were really brutal for the first 11 holes and four-over-par for the first four was not what I had in mind. Ross is a worthy winner. He played great and is one to watch for the future.”

South African David Frost, 48, attempting to become the tour’s oldest winner, carded a 71 for 277 to finish fourth and secure an exemption for the British Open.

A dank, grey autumnal-looking day that ended in bright sunshine featured several high scores.

The day’s worst rounds belonged to twice European Tour winner Richard Green of Australia and Austrian Martin Wiegele who ballooned to 11-over 83s.

Colin Montgomerie’s title defence ended disappointingly as he slid to a 77 for 287, one under.


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