US Open boosts Fisher, McIlroy
Ross Fisher and Rory McIlroy are back in Europe confident they have bright futures following top-10 finishes at the US Open.
England’s Ross Fisher and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy are back in Europe confident they have bright golfing futures following their top-10 finishes at the US Open at Bethpage Black.
Fisher was in fact in contention right up to the 71st hole before bogey trouble forced him to settle for fifth place, three shots behind maiden major winner Lucas Glover of the United States.
And McIlroy claimed a tie for 10th place on his US Open debut after shooting one of the lowest rounds of the final day, a two-under-par 68 to get him within six shots of the winning score at four under.
Like so many contenders yesterday as players completed their final rounds after a week of heavy showers on Long Island, Fisher’s victory bid came undone with bogeys at the 15th and 17th holes.
With world numbers one and two Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson also coming to grief over the closing holes, as well as former Open champion David Duval, Fisher took heart that he was in good company.
“It was tough,” Fisher said. “You are looking at the leaderboard. You’ve got Lucas Glover and Phil Mickelson and a certain Mr Woods.
“So there’s some good golfers playing in this tournament – some good names on the leaderboard.
“I was trying to get it right up top. I didn’t manage it this week, but hopefully there will be things to come after this.
“I’ll have a lot more US Opens and majors to play in so I’m thoroughly looking forward to coming back and playing some more.”
Both Fisher and McIlroy also made impressive Masters debuts in April, the Englishman tying for 30th and the 20-year-old from Holywood taking a share of 20th place at Augusta National.
A strong finish at Bethpage Black as well has given both men encouragement they can compete at the majors for a long time to come.
McIlroy said: “I feel that I can be patient when I want to be. That’s what the majors are all about, patience and making pars. I only made one bogey on the 15th and it was just very solid golf.
“I know that my game can handle majors. I had a great last round in Augusta, six under for the last 10 holes there and then a 68 here.
“Obviously it would be a little different if I was in the final group in the lead but hopefully I can get that experience and it is a case now of trying to get that position soon.”
Both players will head straight to Germany for this Thursday’s BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried but McIlroy is already setting his sights on the next major of the year, the Open Championship at Turnberry in four weeks.
“I don’t know if I have a better chance to win a major on a links course because I have a very high ball flight,” he said.
“If a links course is calm I feel I would have a very good chance. Most links courses are very short compared to the modern day ones and with my ball flight and a little bit of run then I can hit the ball far.
“Hopefully Turnberry will be benign this year. I played there three weeks ago and it was still quite soft and the rough was long but you could see that if they get a couple of weeks of dry weather then it could be very bouncy.”
Fisher meanwhile, will savour the experience of being in contention at the US Open in the final round and in front of a raucous New York crowd at Bethpage Black.
“It’s something I’ll never forget,” he said. “This is still a new experience for me. This is only my second US Open but what an experience.
“Coming to New York, hearing the crowd; I just can’t say enough for the crowd.
“Obviously they’re cheering for Phil (Mickelson) and all the other guys, but I felt like I had a bit of support out there.
“And the crowd was a little bit loud at times, but they were just tremendous.
“I think they kept me going, they kept everyone going, because it’s been a long week.”
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