Ross Fisher wins Tshwane Open by three

Ireland’s Michael Hoey tied for second as Kevin Phelan records first ever top 10 finish

Sun, Mar 2, 2014, 16:04

England’s Ross Fisher claimed his first European title in almost four years with a three-shot win at the Tshwane Open in South Africa. Northern Irish playing partner Michael Hoey was tied for second with local hopeful Danie van Tonder.

Fisher began the final round five strokes clear and held off the chasing pack with a last-day score of 70 to finish on 20 under. The 33-year-old had to withstand a couple of challenges on a wet final day, but a long eagle putt on the par-five 15th all but snuffed out the danger.

Fisher had not won on the European Tour since the 2010 Irish Open and, after tumbling out of the world’s top 50 during his title drought, has now thrust himself into contention for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles later this year.

Hoey reduced Fisher’s lead to a single stroke at one stage. He moved to within touching distance with a birdie from 30 feet at the 11th, but a double bogey at the next stalled his progress.

Fisher’s work was not done, however, as Van Tonder and Del Moral then made their moves and set up a potentially nervous finale, after the Englishman had dominated for the entire weekend at the 7,964-yard, Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf course — the longest in European Tour history.

As he stepped up to the 15th tee, Fisher’s lead had been whittled down to two strokes by both Van Tonder and Del Moral.

Fisher had picked up just a single stroke for the round up until that point, but saved his best for when it counted as he reached the 15th green in two before holing a 30-foot eagle putt. Careful pars at 16 and 17 ensured Fisher was able to walk up the 18th with victory assured and, while he finished with a bogey, a long-overdue win was secured for a player who has been as high as 17th in the world.

Victory leaves him 16th in the Ryder Cup standings and is set to lift him up to 52nd in the world rankings.

Ireland’s tour rookie Kevin Phelan laned his first ever top 10 finish when a two-under-par 70 helped him into a tie for sixth on 13 under and landed him a cheque for €44,750, compared to Hoey’s €138,250 and Fisher’s €237,750.

A three-over-par 75 saw Shane Lowry drop back to four under.

Collated Scores (Irish in bold)

268 Ross Fisher 66 65 67 70

271 Danie Van Tonder (Rsa) 66 70 69 66, Michael Hoey 69 65 69 68

272 Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 68 65 71 68

273 Hennie Otto (Rsa) 71 65 69 68

275 Chris Wood 67 68 72 68, Kevin Phelan 68 69 68 70 , Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 66 68 71 70

276 Merrick Bremner (Rsa) 69 69 67 71

277 Simon Dyson 65 68 71 73, Trevor Fisher Jnr (Rsa) 65 69 71 72, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 70 65 70 72

278 Morten Orum Madsen (Den) 67 65 75 71

279 Robert Rock 70 71 65 73

280 Oliver Bekker (Rsa) 70 67 69 74, Shiv Kapur (Ind) 67 74 70 69, David Howell 69 69 74 68, Keith Horne (Rsa) 74 67 67 72, Jake Roos (Rsa) 69 65 72 74, Matthew Baldwin 72 69 68 71

281 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 67 71 71 72, Paul Waring 70 70 68 73, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 68 70 73

282 Ruan De smidt (Rsa) 69 71 69 73, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 69 71 70 72, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 67 74 71 70, Jean Hugo (Rsa) 68 68 76 70, Oliver Fisher 73 68 69 72

283 James Kingston (Rsa) 71 69 70 73, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 70 70 69 74, Daniel Brooks 72 67 72 72, Heinrich Bruiners (Rsa) 69 70 69 75, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 70 69 69 75, Callum Mowat (Rsa) 72 69 71 71, Marc Warren 73 68 71 71, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 69 73 69, James Kamte (Rsa) 72 69 67 75, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 71 67 72 73

284 Alex Haindl (Rsa) 72 68 70 74, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 72 69 71 72, Justin Harding (Rsa) 70 67 72 75, Shane Lowry 68 71 70 75 , Jaco Ahlers (Rsa) 71 66 72 75, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 71 70 70 73,Ryan Cairns 70 69 74 71

285 Tyrrell Hatton 70 69 70 76, Andy Sullivan 69 69 78 69, Jared Harvey (Rsa) 66 72 74 73, Cj Du plessis (Rsa) 71 69 73 72

286 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 68 70 71 77, Erik van Rooyen (Rsa) 66 72 74 74, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 70 65 74 77, Tyrone Ferreira (Rsa) 72 69 75 70, George Coetzee (Rsa) 70 70 71 75

287 Anthony Wall 68 71 76 72, Ricardo Santos (Por) 68 71 71 77, James Morrison 69 70 72 76, Vaughn Groenewald (Rsa) 71 68 73 75

288 Tjaart Van Der Walt (Rsa) 69 71 74 74, Daan Huizing (Ned) 68 71 70 79

289 Tyrone Mordt (Rsa) 70 71 74 74, Doug McGuigan 71 70 75 73

290 Jack Doherty 69 71 75 75, Warren Abery (Rsa) 71 70 73 76, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 71 69 75 75

291 Soren Hansen (Den) 70 70 76 75, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 70 71 75 75 293 Michael Jonzon (Swe) 72 69 76 76

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