Fisher closes in on Dunhill lead

Ross Fisher of England closed the gap between himself and the top of the leaderboard to just one stroke on Friday with his seven-under-par 65 in the second round og the Alfred Dunhill Championship.

 

Fisher, playing in the same group as the first-round leader Morten Orum Madsen of Denmark, started on the 10th hole at Leopard Creek Country Club, and made six birdies, an eagle and just one bogey as Madsen battled his way to a 71 for his one-stroke lead. The Dane’s round included an eagle, five birdies, two bogeys and two double bogeys.

 

Fisher, who celebrated his 33rd birthday a week ago with a share of 22nd in the South African Open Championship, is a four-time winner on the European Tour, which co-sanctions the tournament with the Sunshine Tour. He had four top-10s during the 2013 Race to Dubai as he went in search of his fifth professional win.

 

“It was a lot easier scoring today,” said Fisher. “It was a testing day yesterday, and I played well but just couldn’t make a putt. To be seven behind the leader was a little disappointing, so I knew I had to come out today and try and play as well as the previous day, if not better.

 

“I holed a good birdie on 12 and made a very good putt on 13, and made good birdies on 15 and 17. And then I hit two lovely shots into 18 and made eagle. All of a sudden, I was turning in six-under, so I was automatically thinking if I could pick three or four up on the front side, 62 or 63 could be on the cards.”

 

Madsen’s round showed that bad shots don’t always go unpunished. He hit a few yesterday and was able to recover easily, but errors like a four-putt on 13 cost him dearly, and, although he is still in the lead, the field has him in its sights.

 

Behind Fisher, Tyrone van Aswegen, the South African who earned his PGA Tour card for the 2014 season, carded a four-under-par 68 to move into a share of third with England’s Richard Finch.

 

Fich looked set to grab the clubhouse lead in the second round as he reached the 15th at six-under-par for the day and 10-under for the tournament. But a near-calamitous conclusion of bogey-bogey-double bogey from 16 to 18 saw him sign for a 70 to be six-under for the tournament.

 

For Fisher, on the other hand, it was a question of cashing in when the ball started rolling for him. “Golf is a very fickle game,” he said. “Some days you make putts, and some days you don’t. You’ve just got to take the good with the bad.”

 

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