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July 5, 2008

Ross Fisher


RODDY WILLIAMS: Very well played and started the day well ahead, finished the day three ahead; nice to birdie the last, three days in a row I imagine.
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, always nice to sign off on a good note and fortunately, I seem to have done it three days in a row. Yeah, it feels good.
It was a very tough day today. I think I saw Garrido shot 67 and I was chatting to him in the gents and he said he got here and it was raining real hard and blowing quite hard, as well, and got harder as the day went on. So to see a 67 out there, you're thinking, crickey, that's a good score.
And when I was 2-over after, what, six or seven, I thought, come on, just stay with it, stay patient, you've got some par 5s; you're playing -- to be fair, I didn't play great, but I wasn't playing badly. It was just one of those days; it was really, really difficult.
Club selection was key. You know, the first, I hit a 7-iron from 132 yards where I hit a 7-iron 175 today. You just have to stay patient and play by feel, and obviously we hung in there and to break 70 again was very, very pleasing.

Q. Any valuable advice in the gents?
ROSS FISHER: No, not really. Just wished me good luck to be fair. (Laughter).

Q. Can you recall when you first led a tournament after the first, second or third round?
ROSS FISHER: I don't think I have to be honest. HSBC I was close but I wasn't leading going into the final day. Wentworth, I'm not sure if I was leading after the first day. Not sure about Holland. I don't think I led until obviously the final day.
So no, I think this is probably the first one that I've led all the way through.

Q. Details of the last, and were you aware nobody had birdied it as you were playing it?
ROSS FISHER: No, obviously didn't have a clue that no one had birdied it. Obviously it's a great finishing hole from a spectator's point of view. It's a bit of a pain from a playing point of view.
I must say, with that wind hard off the right, just wanted to get on the tee and just hit a good drive. Fortunate I hit it real solid, just started right of the TV tower and just got a bit too much turn. I thought, oh, I was just thinking, oh, please, just carry the water, carry the water, and obviously it carried the water and what it looked like was quite comfy, and to finish so far up could you probably see the huge relief on myself.
I think my tee shot probably might have caused Graeme to take on a more aggressive line. I thought, well, that's close, that could be in the water, and it's obviously disappointing from my point of view to see your playing partner do that on the last. You don't like to see anyone mess up the last. Fortunately he made a very good up-and-down for a five.
Obviously I was trying to concentrate on my own things, forging out a really good number to the hole and just hit a solid 9-iron in there. I thought it was pretty good. I didn't expect it to be so close. I think it ended up about six, eight feet away.
Obviously the crowd's reaction, you know it's a good shot but I actually thought it was probably 12, 15 feet. And to get up and see it there, looked at it and thought, come on, this is an easy putt, inside right, just hit a good, solid stroke; you could see it on my face when I birdied the last for the third day in a row.

Q. What did you have to the pin?
ROSS FISHER: I think it was 151 to the flag. It was 138 carry on the line, and I think we judged it as playing two or three yards uphill. So playing 153, 154 and just tried to figure where the wind was, and it felt like it was just off the right. I said to Adam, "It feels like it should be hurting."
And he said, "No, it feels like it should be just off the right." Just hit that nice and solid and nice and thought it should be perfect, and knocked it down, started right of the flag, turned in nicely and that was the result.

Q. There was a time over a year ago when you had the third round lead or very close to it; what can you take from that?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, obviously the Wentworth thing was bitterly disappointing; to lead such a prestigious tournament and that it happens to be my home club where I've grown up and learnt my trade, as it were, was very, very disappointing.
I've played some really, really solid, great golf for three days, and unfortunately it was just one of those days where whatever I tried just, it didn't work. It didn't come off. You get days like that. You know, going into the back nine, I still had a chance and obviously when I made a hash of the 12th, I knew that that was my tournament chances over.
I took a lot from that, obviously leading such a big event for three days with such a star-studded field was a tremendous achievement for myself. Obviously I wanted to try and win the tournament.
So it was disappointing, but felt like I showed great character and really positive strength, mental attitude to go on literally not so long after it and hold off the field to win in Holland.
So I think I took a lot from Wentworth. I showed myself I can compete. It's just about getting over the hurdle and fortunately I managed to do that a few weeks after.
So just looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully the weather will be kind to us. I've heard the forecast isn't too good. I can't believe it will be as windy as today, but if it is, then you know, just have to turn up, see what the weather gives us, go out there and just try and play how I have the first three days and fingers crossed, it will be good enough.

Q. What have you taken from the last three days here going into the final round of The European Open at The London Club?
ROSS FISHER: Just I've been playing some really, really good golf. Obviously I've had the best round of my life on Thursday, 63. Followed up with a really solid 68 yesterday and today to be a few over front side with it playing real, real tricky, you know, to shoot 3-under on the back with an eagle and a birdie, and just to have three round in the 60s, is very, very pleasing.
Going to take a lot from that into tomorrow. I'm driving the ball really good. I probably didn't hit as many fairways today, but it was always going to be tricky when you're playing with like a 30-yard wind; it's not easy, but still feel comfortable. I feel like, you know, the course sets up really well and I can just hit driver on pretty much every hole, bar maybe I think 10 and 13, maybe they are the only holes I won't hit driver.
But if I drive it long and straight, you know, hit some greens, hole some putts, feel like I've got a good chance. But there's a long way to go. There's still 18 holes out there. There's some real top-quality players behind me. Obviously Graeme is three back. Frosty is just behind him and you have the big guns, they are a few back, but who knows if they can go out and shoot 64 or 65, they are going to put some pressure on me. So I have to go out there with the same mind-set of as the first three days and go out and play some good golf and see what happens.

Q. Do you like playing in the wind, and do you think you rise to that challenge, and would you be happy for it to blow tomorrow or would you rather it didn't?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, to be honest, you've just got to take it as it comes. As an amateur, I played a lot of links golf, so I'm used to sort of the linksy-type feel, and most of the time it does blow on a links course.
Obviously we've had three very different days. First day, a fair bit of wind, probably 20 yards at times, and yesterday was reasonably calm, maybe five or ten, and then obviously today, it was pretty much blowing a hooly, 30, 35 yards at times. So it tests your patience, but you've got to stay patient, keep focused, just try and hit one shot at a time and if it's windy tomorrow, I'll be ready for it, but just going to turn up and see what it gives us and then go out and just try and play some good golf.

Q. How did the drive on 9 compare with Thursday, and indeed yesterday? I don't know what you did there.
ROSS FISHER: I was actually a little surprised where I finished today, because standing on the tee and with Adam, thought he was joking but he actually said, "If you hit a good drive like Thursday, I think you can hit this one on."
I turned around and said, "440, no, don't be stupid." Just tried to hit a good, solid drive. Hit it a little bit right of where I was trying to hit it and sort of walking up there thinking, well, why can't I see two balls in the fairway. I thought Graeme had hit a good drive and they are like, Graeme, you're over here and I thought if he's there, where's my ball. I'm thinking, oh, don't be in the rough or thick stuff. And kept walking and walking and all of a sudden I was probably 15 paces from the front. So, yeah, it probably wasn't quite as good as Thursday, but it wasn't too bad.
It was around the same, maybe a tad closer, the pin.

Q. I think early on the back nine you had fallen over a hole behind, were there any slow play words to you or were you aware of officials looking at it?
ROSS FISHER: No, I wasn't aware. I think Briggsy came up to us on probably the 12th maybe, he might have said, you know, look guys, I know it's tricky but you've lost some time, and I said, oh, we lost a few minutes and said, no problem, we'll try to push it on. Fortunately for us they were very lenient because it was a very tricky day. Fortunately we managed to catch the guys up and waited a little bit the last few holes, so it wasn't too bad.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Can we just get the details of the eagle?
ROSS FISHER: Drive on the fairway, just trying to remember how far I had in. Could have been like just over 150-odd to the flag and just tried to hit a 120-wedge basically, slightly down the grip and just hit a full shot. Fortunately hit it on the green and hit it next to Graeme so I got quite a good read off his putt. I think it was probably about 15 feet maybe and fortunately went in.
RODDY WILLIAMS: Thank you very much.

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