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July 18, 2009

Ross Fisher


MALCOLM BOOTH: Birdie on 3, what did you do there?
ROSS FISHER: I hit driver there, and I think we had a nice yardage, hit a little 8-iron in there. Probably holed it from 18 feet, I'd say.
5, I hit a good 2-iron off the tee. I hit 3-iron in just to the back of the green. Probably had 35, 40 feet with about kind of 15 feet of break. I actually watched Harrington hit that putt earlier on when I seen it at home so I knew how much it broke. So I hit it up around about to three feet, four feet. Unfortunately I missed that one.
12, I hit drive, unfortunately just went into the second trap on the left. I hit 8-iron just trying to lay up short of the green and hit it a little bit left into the rough. I pitched on and had about 35 yards, I think, to the flag and then left myself probably about 12, 15 feet up the hill. Unfortunately just lipped out.
14, I hit probably the worst drive of the day, sort of sky blocked it, and I had miles in. I had to hit 3-wood in. Just caught it a little bit sort of low and sort of hooky, and it just went a little bit long left, and then didn't have a very good lie. I tried to sort of play a semi-flop shot and just didn't catch the ball, and left myself probably 35, 40 feet up the hill and just left it just short, tapped in there.
16, I hit a good drive. I think we had about 109, 110. I hit a nice full sand wedge in there to probably about 12 feet I'd say, 12, 15 feet.
17, hit a good drive just in the left rough. Hit 5-iron, I think I had about 231, I think, just got a nice big flier there, to probably 40, 45 feet. Hit a great putt, just missed and knocked it in from two and a half, three feet.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Ladies and gentlemen, we're joined by Ross Fisher. Shot level par, 70 today, for a three-round total of 207, 3-under par, and is one shot off the lead in The Open Championship.
Ross, take us through your thoughts on a good day and putting yourself in a good position for tomorrow.
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, thank you. Obviously it was a very tough day out there, just walking out to the practise range, seeing the wind in a slightly different direction. There was not many holes that played into the wind or straight downwind; pretty much every hole was across, which, you know, I think is probably the hardest wind you can possibly play in. I knew it was going to be tough.
Patience was key and just trying to hit one shot at a time, trying not to get ahead of yourself, trying to hit fairways and greens. I'm not sure how many fairways I hit, but I don't think it was as many as the first two days. I think I missed three or four out of two days, and I probably only hit about three or four today. It was just tricky.
But I felt like I played really well. In the 18 holes I probably hit two bad shots, the short putt on 5 and my tee shot on 14. But apart from that, I felt like I hit some really high-quality shots, and just unfortunately the putts just didn't go in. But nice to finish birdie, birdie, par, and to shoot level par, I was very, very delighted to shoot that score today.

Q. Are you going to dig up those last three holes and take them back to Surrey? I think I've worked it out that's seven -- you've picked up seven shots on those three holes.

Q. Not bad at all. Obviously you love that finish.
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, I guess so. I mean, I don't know what it is about it, but like you say, 16 I think I've birdied that every day, so it's obviously nice.
17 is probably one of the easier holes out there, and it's one that you if don't make birdie you kind of feel like you've slipped a shot, because pretty much everyone can get up in two. But it's still a tricky hole. That bunker out there at 330, 335, guys have got to make decisions, you know. I actually saw Tom hit it in the bunker yesterday. So it's a tricky hole, but, you know, today it was driver, because it wasn't helping, whereas yesterday it was 3-wood.
And 18, didn't quite birdie it today but, you know, it's been very nice to me. I hit the fairway every day, hit the green every day and one birdie and a couple of decent efforts. So like you said, those last three holes have done very nicely for me, and hopefully I can get some nice work out there tomorrow.

Q. Does that mean you might, when you come towards the end tomorrow, that --
ROSS FISHER: No, not at all. I'll just be focusing on one shot at a time, one hole at a time, and you know, whatever happens when I get to 16, 17, 18 will happen. Hopefully I'll play them well. Depends on what the wind is doing and what the weather is like.
Hopefully 16 will be helping because then for me I can unleash the driver, you know.
17, like I say, you need to birdie it because it's in range in two.
And then 18, it's a great finishing hole. It's probably not driver off the tee, it's a long iron. Today I hit 3-iron and hit 8-iron in from I forget how far I had, maybe 190 to the fairway, but it was only like 174 to the front, playing pretty much straight downwind. So hopefully I'll get the first 15 holes out of the way and then I'll think about the last three.

Q. Do you have a slight advantage over the rest of the field inasmuch as it's only four years or so since you were playing a lot of links golf in the amateur game, so you must feel comfortable in these conditions?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, definitely. Like you say, a lot of the amateur game was played on links golf. I was fortunate to have a decent amateur career, so I feel quite prepared to play links golf. I probably haven't got as much experience as the likes of Tom, you know. He's been playing this golf for quite a few years. So hopefully that will hold me in good stead.
I've played three decent rounds around here. The preparation coming into this week was pretty good. I played here a couple of weeks before, the week before Loch Lomond, saw the course, and went out and played half a dozen holes on Wednesday just to see how the course was playing. But I knew this week was going to be long and tough, obviously for various reasons, so I just tried to keep the energy levels high, not do too much, do a little bit of practise, a lot of short game, a lot of putting. So far so good. Hopefully it will continue tomorrow.

Q. One daily baby question. Any chance of reassessing what you're going to do if the buzzer goes off, given where you are? And the second part is how do you think you will react in what's going to be a very sympathetic atmosphere to Tom, I would think, tomorrow?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, obviously, first part, no news at the moment. So as I say, no news is good news, you know. Hopefully it will stay that way. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed, hopefully she won't get too excited watching me tomorrow, and she will be able to hang on for another day, and hopefully I can hang on for another day.
Touching on Tom Watson, it's similar to my story, I guess. It's a bit Cinderella story. To be playing as well as he is at age 59, I mean, it's incredible. You know, he won here, what, 32 years ago, so I'm sure there will be a lot of followers out there for Tom rooting for him.
But I had my fair share today. So it was wonderful, you know, to hear the reception, you know, up to every tee, up to every green. And, you know, coming down the 18, receiving a reception like that is something that you'll never forget. Hopefully I can play good tomorrow and get just as nice reception tomorrow, you know. Hopefully it will be for a win. If not, you know, hopefully I can push Tom and just put in a good performance.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit about as you're handling your nerves and your game tomorrow and whatnot, the element of not having Tiger Woods here near the top of the leaderboard, is that a hurdle that you look at that you don't have to deal with and can you just talk about dynamic of that?
ROSS FISHER: Yeah. I guess, I mean, anytime that Tiger is at a tournament, I think I've said it a few times, if you finish ahead of Tiger Woods you're probably going to win the tournament, you know. Unfortunately I only finished 5th at the U.S. Open, but I beat Tiger by one. And on normal days that would be good enough to win the tournament, but unfortunately it wasn't.
So obviously it's a big shame that Tiger didn't make the cut. It just adds a little bit extra spice, extra buzz, knowing that the world No. 1 is here playing. Like I say, anytime you can play well and finish ahead of Tiger, you know you're going to give yourself a chance, you know.
It's obviously a shame for the crowd's perspective that he's not here, obviously for you guys and TV that he's not here. It was a shame, but I know he will be bitterly disappointed that he didn't make the cut, but I'm sure he'll come out fighting at the last major, at the U.S. PGA.

Q. If you get a text that your wife has gone into labor as you get up on the first tee tomorrow, what are you going to do before you tee off?
ROSS FISHER: I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Q. Given your experience at the U.S. Open, do you feel ready to win this tournament, particularly given the distraction of the impending child? And secondly, any thoughts on playing -- I think you'll be playing alongside Lee. That would be quite a great gallery, I would imagine.
ROSS FISHER: Yeah, obviously it's going to be very, very difficult, but, you know, hopefully I can keep my mind on the job and just go out there and perform as well as I can. You know, like I said all week, it's going to be very, very difficult. Hopefully I won't have to make any rush decisions. Hopefully Jo can hang on.
But yeah, playing with Lee will be great fun, if that is the case. I'm assuming so. He's obviously playing very, very well. Hopefully we can have some fun out there, you know, a little bit of banter and throw a few birdies at each other and try and get our names up at the top of the leaderboard.

Q. Do you feel any pressure having a chance at ending the British drought?
ROSS FISHER: No, not really. I mean, you know, I'm not sure why a British guy hasn't won The Open. We've got a tremendous amount of talent in the game, you know. Hopefully that will win tomorrow. Whether it's myself or whether it's Lee or someone else. You know, it's a shame, but hopefully we can boost the British game and European golf and try and get a win tomorrow.

Q. I think as we are still trying to get our heads around this, what would you do if you had been told at the start of the year that you would have your chance to win your first major, and the only one standing in your way would be a guy about ready to turn 60 years old. How would you have rated your chances?
ROSS FISHER: Probably would have laughed. Yeah, obviously I've got a great chance. You know, like I said before, Tom's a heck of a player; to be doing this at 59 is incredible. I just hope I can still be doing this to this level and this standard when I'm 59. I mean, it's incredible.
I kind of kept a close eye on the leaderboard and knew what people were doing and saw he wasn't faltering. He's just a legend. He's a great player, and I'm sure he'll go out there tomorrow and there will be a lot of people rooting for him.
But hopefully if I can play my game and go out there and shoot a decent score, post a number in the group in front of him that he's got to beat, who knows.

Q. Sorry to belabor the baby question, if you'll pardon the pun, but would your best guess not be that your wife would maybe say to you in the morning, just go out and come back as a dad as an Open champion, rather than have you kind of standing in doubt as whether you should go or not?
ROSS FISHER: I don't know. Like I said all along, if Jo does go into labor, I'll be supporting her a hundred percent. And I won't be here, I'll be with her, because it's something that I definitely don't want to miss. You know, it will be a shame, but I guess we'll just have to cross that bridge when we come to it, you know.
It's been a long week. It's been an intriguing week, obviously for a number of reasons, you know. I've got through three days, she's got through three days. Hopefully, like I say, I can hang on for one more day, and hopefully she can. Who knows, to win, and then to get back home and to see the birth of our first child would be obviously a dream come true. But there's a long way to go. Let's just hope that we can both hold on.
MALCOLM BOOTH: Ross, well played. Thank you for coming in.

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