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Ross Fisher
Ross Fisher's 68 was the low round of the day on Friday, tied only by Ernie Els and Tim Clark. (Squire/Getty Images)

For third major this year, Fisher lurks near the top

Ross Fisher didn't like bogeying his final two holes Friday, but he loves the way he's playing in the majors this year. As at both the Masters and British Open, the young Englishman is very much in contention.

By Craig Dolch, Special to

CHASKA, Minn. -- Once again, Ross Fisher placed himself atop the leader board of a major championship. But once again, the Englishman failed to stay there for as long as he wanted.

When Fisher birdied Hazeltine’s 16th hole Friday, he moved to 6 under for the day and into a tie for the lead of the 91st PGA Championship with Tiger Woods.

But Fisher bogeyed the last two holes to settle for a second-place tie, four back of Woods, at the championship’s halfway point. Fisher shared the day’s low round (68) with Ernie Els and Tim Clark.

 “That round today should have really been 6, 7, 8 under,” Fisher said. “To finish bogey-bogey always leaves a little bit of a sour taste for dinner. But I’m still in there with a good shot with 36 holes to go.”

Fisher also had a great chance at winning his first major last month at the British Open. He opened the final round with a pair of birdies to take a two-shot lead over Tom Watson, but made a quadruple-bogey 8 at Turnberry’s fifth hole. Fisher settled for a 13th-place finish, which was more than respectable considering his wife, Jo, was about to go into labor that week.(She gave birth to a daughter, Eve, eight days later.)

“One bad swing kind of cost me a really good chance at the Open,” said Fisher, who had a beeper in his bag and was prepared to leave if it went off. “The Open was a lot more stressful because at any moment I could have got the phone call saying Jo was going into labor.  So I was always on kind of tentative, shall we say, and fortunately she managed to hold on, and unfortunately I didn't manage to do the same.”

Fisher’s strong play the last two majors has not been a surprise. Despite focusing on the European Tour, He was fourth in the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship in the spring, fifth at the U.S. Open and 30th at the Masters. That has helped him improve to No. 23 in the latest world rankings.

“I think majors suit my game,” he said. “I've had a top-10, a top-15 and a top-30, so it would be nice to maybe sneak a win in there.  But all I want to do is give myself a chance on Sunday.”


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