Fisher Birdies Last for First Win

RSS

KLM Open Logo 1007ZANDVOORT, Netherlands -- As quickly as Ross Fisher seemed to let go certain victory, he snatched it back.
 
Then, he was forced to prove it was valid.
 
After making back-to-back bogeys from the 16th hole -- and with Joost Luiten on the practice green preparing for a potential playoff -- Fisher won the KLM Open on Sunday with a birdie on the last hole to claim his first European Tour title.
 
Fisher's bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes had dropped him into a tie with Luiten, a sudden reversal of the firm hold the 26-year-old Englishman held on the lead for much of the final round.
 
But a gutsy drive at the 18th put Fisher just 66 yards from the hole, where he chipped within 8 feet to set up the closing birdie. The putt dropped slowly into the hole for the win. One fewer rotation and it would have ended on the lip.
 
Fisher had five birdies and two bogeys for a 3-under 67 and won by a shot at 12-under 268 overall.
 
After he finished his round, he accompanied officials back to the 12th hole to discuss whether he had broken a rule by moving some shrubbery to his advantage.
 
When it was proven that he did not, Fisher was finally declared the winner.
 
'It was a thin strand and I went to move it because I thought it was a loose impediment, but when I realized it was attached I literally left it alone,' said Fisher, who parred the hole before taking a four-shot advantage with a birdie at the 13th.
 
'They deemed it didn't improve my stance or my swing. I feel very fortunate.'
 
Luiten, playing in his native Netherlands, shot a 4-under 66 and ended alone in second place at 11-under 269. The 21-year-old Challenge Tour regular was also looking for his first career win on the European Tour.
 
Leaning over a ball on the putting green, he was visibly disappointed when Fisher stuck his final approach close at the 18th.
 
Two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer shot a 67 and led a group of five players who tied for third place, four shots back at 8-under 272. He was joined there by Steve Alker (71), Alastair Forsyth (66), Thomas Levet (69) and Alexander Noren (68).
 
Langer, who turns 50 on Monday, will make his Champions Tour debut next weekend.
 
David Carter, one of the three overnight leaders, stumbled to a 75 on Sunday and fell all the way into a tie for 23rd place at 4-under 276.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The KLM Open
  • GOLF CHANNEL Airtimes