Run-down Fisher drives 'blind' to lowest score of his career

You play six tournaments in seven weeks (including the toughest major known to man), you then go through 36 holes of Open qualifying on the Monday, have one or two Pimm's at Wimbledon on the Tuesday, consider pulling out when still feeling tired on the Wednesday, before deciding you better tee it up in the first round early on the Thursday despite never having clapped eyes on the course in your life. And what do you?

You shoot the lowest score of your career, during which you hit the longest drive of your career and proceed to leave Graeme McDowell and David Frost two shots behind in a prestigious European Open field. Well, you do if your name is Ross Fisher, a young man who is rapidly turning "ignorance is bliss" into a golfing cliché. The one and only other time that the 27-year-old from Ascot had played a Tour event "blind" – i.e. without a practice round – was last November's HSBC Champions Tournament in Shanghai and he ended up taking Phil Mickelson to the second hole of a sudden-death play-off.

"Perhaps I should do it all the time," joked Fisher. Believe it. If they thought it would lead to a nine-under 63, containing 10 birdies with six coming in the last six holes then every bloke with a diamond sweater would do it all the time. Including Tiger.

What made Fisher's morning all the remarkable were the windy conditions. This Jack Nicklaus-designed layout in deepest Kent is hardly the most foreboding, but the rough is certainly deep when located, as the majority of the field could testify. Inevitably, Fisher put the bulk of his fantastical deeds down to his driving and, crikey, was it "bulky". Especially the boomer down his last hole (the ninth) which drew a simple reaction from one startled onlooker behind the tee – "That's sick".

It was later worked out to have travelled 413 yards and although that was wind-assisted Fisher was not about to let that minimise the titanium magnitude. "You can probably take a little bit off it," he said. "But it was still big." When told about the drive and indeed the score, Colin Montgomerie commented: "Ross is Nadal-like. He's so strong. He hits it so far."

The caddie is not bad either. Granted, Adam Marrow did try to persuade Fisher to withdraw after a gruelling day at Sunningdale at the beginning of the week – when the player ranked 104th in the world was one of 18 players from a field of 120 to win a place at Royal Birkdale in two weeks' time – but the manner in which he navigated his man around the layout was exemplary. Marrow's nickname should be "Tom Tom". And what a route they took to their destination.

The pair came to the fourth (their 13th) on three-under and then in Fisher's words, "It all became a bit weird, a bit surreal". A sand-wedge to eight feet, a holed bunker shot and a 20-foot putt were just three of the strikes that featured in his sextuplet.

"I've never had six in a row before, three or maybe four," said Fisher, who four weeks ago played in his first US Open. "That was the lowest score I've had as a pro and probably the most solid round." Since seeking help from Europe's newest chipping guru, the former Tour professional Mark Roe, Fisher has improved immeasurably and a victory here would haul him into the automatic qualification positions for the Ryder Cup. He would not be out of place on Nick Faldo's team.

Nor, for that matter, would McDowell. The Ulsterman has returned to form with a vengeance this year and is 11th in the Ryder standings. A 65 left him perfectly poised to launch a challenge for this £400,000 first prize.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
nflAtlanta Falcons can't count and don't know what the UK looks like
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
High notes, flat performance: Jake Bugg
music

Review: Despite an uphill climb to see Jake Bugg in action, his performance is notably flat

News
The Putin automaton will go on sale next month in Germany
videoMusical Putin toy showing him annexing Crimea could sell for millions
News
news

Powerful images of strays taken moments before being put down

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London