England’s Ross Fisher reels in World Match Play crownCASARES, Spain - England’s Ross Fisher beat American Anthony Kim four and three to claim the Volvo World Match Play Championship at the Finca Cortesin Golf Club here on Sunday.
A birdie on the first hole of the 36-hole final gave the 28-year-old an early lead and he never fell behind, eventually securing victory when both players recorded pars on the par-four 33rd. The victory earned Fisher the 750,000-euro ($1.1 million) top prize, which takes him from seventh to fourth in The Race to Dubai European Tour money list.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” said Fisher, who moves up to 17 in the world rankings on the back of his triumph.
“It’s been a long, gruelling week, but obviously very worthwhile. This course was physically demanding and I don’t think I am the fittest of blokes out here. I know I need to work a lot more in the gym.
“The only thing that’s been missing this year was a win. I feel I’ve been very consistent and to be the leading guy in the Majors [in terms of shots taken] shows my golf has been very good,” Fisher said.
Leading by one hole after the morning session, Fisher went three up after winning the 22nd and 23rd holes, first with a 35-foot eagle putt and then a birdie after Kim drove into trouble. Kim - one of the stars of the United States Ryder Cup victory last year - responded on the 24th to reduce the deficit but Fisher kicked again on the back nine, restoring his three-hole lead when Kim bogeyed the 28th and going four up with four to play thanks to a birdie at the par-four 32nd.
Fisher, who let the lead slip on the final day of The Open, went into the afternoon with a one-hole lead, having missed a chance to extend his advantage by three-putting on the 18th after Kim could only make par.
The Englishman took the lead on four separate occasions but was unable to pull away, with Kim levelling the match on the seventh, ninth and 13th holes before bogeying the 464-yard 16th to hand his opponent the initiative.
“I think this format suits me,” Fisher commented. “I’m quite an aggressive player and sometimes it’s caught me out in the past but the best player in the world [Tiger Woods] is an aggressive player and he hasn’t done too badly. That’s where I draw inspiration from - try to be aggressive but smart as well.”
Earlier, Australia’s Robert Allenby defeated Argentina’s Masters champion Angel Cabrera in the 18-hole third-place play-off match. Allenby, who was defeated by Kim in Saturday’s semifinal, holed in one with a 230-yard five wood on the sixth hole but had to birdie the 18th to send the match to a sudden-death play-off.
The Australian prevailed on the first extra hole after sinking an 18-foot eagle putt off the back of the green, giving him third place and a check for 250,000 euros. AFP