Fisher holds on for Irish Open triumph
England’s Ross Fisher has won the 3 Irish Open in record-equalling style, despite a fierce Padraig Harrington charge.
England’s Ross Fisher has won the 3 Irish Open in record-equalling style, despite a feirce, closing round charge charge by Padraig Harrington.
From three behind, Harrington might have thought a closing seven-under-par 64 would seal his national title for the second time in four years.
But Fisher, having lost the six-stroke lead he held in the third round, responded with a superb 65 to take his fourth European Tour title by two shots.
The 29-year-old’s 18-under-par 266 aggregate matched the tournament record set nine years ago by Colin Montgomerie – and with it Fisher climbs all the way from 13th to sixth in the race for places in Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup side.
“It just feels great to come out on top against such a world-class field,” said Fisher after receiving the trophy and the £415,973 first prize.
“I could hear the roars and knew Padraig was making a charge. I just tried to stay patient and this is what we play for – we want to give ourselves a chance and I am no different.
“I don’t know if I have done enough (to clinch a Ryder Cup debut) yet, but there are two more big weeks coming up and I just want to show Monty I am playing well.”
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational starts on Thursday in Akron, Ohio, and after that comes the final major of the season, the US PGA, at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Harrington still has not won for two years and remains outside the all-important top nine on the points table, but a cheque for £277,312 leaves him far nearer to it than he was.
The Dubliner, who has now had 27 second places on the circuit, produced some spectacular shots and rated his up and down from a plugged lie in a bunker at the 12th “one of the best ever for me”.
He added: “Overall I had a lot of chances. I’ve been comfortable with my game for a while, but I just have to trust it a little more.
“I should not get so stressed – I just have to let it happen a bit more.”
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