Ross Fisher takes a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, after backing up a fine opening round with a 4-under par 68.
The Englishman posted seven birdies during his second round to hold a one-shot lead over Swede Joakim Lagergren and is two shots clear of the first-round leader Alex Noren.
Fisher started his second round, on the Old Course at St Andrews, on Friday morning just one shot back of leader Alex Noren until he birdied four of his opening seven holes. Highlighted by back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes to open up a two-shot lead.
Trouble came on the par-3 eleventh, where Fisher three-putted and dropped his first shot of the day. This was instantly put behind him when he bounced back and made birdie on the 12th hole – regaining his two-shot lead.
The dropped shot on the 11th hole was Fisher’s first bogey in 29 holes and his first dropped shot of the week – The European Tour reports.
Another bogey was made on the thirteenth hole, but the five-time European winner made a 10ft birdie putt to positively respond on the 14th.
A stellar tee shot on the 16th gave Fisher a matter of inches to make birdie, which he did and got to 12-under. But this was short lived after another blemish was put on the card at the 17th.
Fisher heads into the weekend with a one-shot lead at 11-under par and was delighted with his play over the first, two days as he spoke to Sky Sports:
“Not dropping a shot obviously yesterday at Kingsbarns was a real achievement. Seven under yesterday was a great start.”
“To shoot four under and get to 11 [under], I’m obviously very, very pleased,” Fisher said. “Coming around here, St Andrews, you know the greens are going to be a little bit slower.”
“I felt like I played really well front side. Every time I bogeyed, I bounced back. It would have been nice to have one on 18 after bogeying 17, but it’s still tough out there.”
Fisher’s nearest challenger, Joakim Lagergren, was playing his second round at Kingsbarns where he shot a bogey-free round of 68.
The Swede, starting on the tenth hole, reached the turn in 35 after only making one birdie at the 7th hole on his front-nine. An eagle on the par-5 third hole, his twelfth, kick-started his round and saw him get to 9-under par.
Lagergren ended his round in style as he birdied the ninth, his last, to reach 10-under par and card a 68. This combined with his opening round of 66 see’s him sit one-shot ahead of fellow countryman Alex Noren.
After his round, the 24-year-old commented:
“I played really solid today. Unfortunately, I didn’t hole any putts this round.
“It was a little windy and a little drizzly there on the front nine. But it’s pretty scorable anyway, I would say.”
First round leader, Alex Noren, followed his opener of 64 with a one-under round of 7. A round which saw the Swede make four birdies and holed out from 78 yards for eagle on the par-4 sixth hole was undone by three bogeys and a double bogey on the par-4 fifth hole.
It was another mixed day for the six returning European Ryder Cup players. Thomas Pieters is in the strongest position and sits T6 after round two, with the Belgian making four birdies in his first eight holes, six in total, and one double bogey, to card a 4-under round of 68.
Thomas Pieters and Johann Rupert in the team competition made the best score of the day with a 12-under par second day.
Martin Kaymer birdied 5 of his 7 seven opening holes on his way to shooting a 4-under round of 68, to still be in contention at 5-under par and sits in T12. One shot back of the German is Rafa Cabrera-Bello at 4-under par in 20th who is seven shots back.
Englishmen Danny Willett and Matthew Fitzpatrick are still both struggling to find some form and both are up-against-it to make the 54-hole cut at the Dunhill Links.
Masters Champion, Danny Willett carded one birdie and two bogies on his way to a 1-over 73 to sit at 2-over par for the tournament. Fitzpatrick, also shot a 1-over 73 in the second round to sit at 6-over heading into Saturday’s third round.
Lee Westwood, sits at the bottom of the leaderboard on 13-over par, after shooting a 10-over round of 82 at Kingsbarns today and a 75 yesterday. The Englishman made four double bogies and three bogies in a horrid round.