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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Queen and the letter sent to Charlie
football
Arts and Entertainment
Eurovision Song Contest 2015
EurovisionGoogle marks the 2015 show
News
Two lesbians hold hands at a gay pride parade.
peopleIrish journalist shares moving story on day of referendum
Arts and Entertainment
<p>
<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
</p>
<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
<p>
I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
booksKathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
News
Liz Kendall played a key role in the introduction of the smoking ban
newsLiz Kendall: profile
Life and Style
techPatent specifies 'anthropomorphic device' to control media devices
Voices
The PM proposed 'commonsense restrictions' on migrant benefits
voicesAndrew Grice: Prime Minister can talk 'one nation Conservatism' but putting it into action will be tougher
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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?