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Tshwane Open 2014: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

Michael WadeAnalyst IIIFebruary 27, 2014

Tshwane Open 2014: Daily Leaderboard Analysis, Highlights and More

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    The Copperleaf course in Tshwane was designed by Ernie Els.
    The Copperleaf course in Tshwane was designed by Ernie Els.Warren Little/Getty Images

    Ross Fisher won the 2014 Tshwane Open at the Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf course by three shots from Michael Hoey and Danie Van Tonder to give him his first tournament victory for four years.

    The Englishman triumphed at Copperleaf course, which is the longest in European Tour history, standing at an impressive 7,964 yards in total.

    It also boasts four par-fives measuring over 600 yardsthe first course on the European Tour to do thatwhile the par-five No. 4 is the longest hole in European Tour history at a daunting 685 yards in length.

    This was the eighth event of the Tour season to be held in South Africa. Fisher bucked the trend by winning the tournament here, as five of the previous seven have been won by home players.

    Fisher has thrust himself into contention for the Ryder Cup with this victory and will be looking to build on the form he showcased here for the remainder of the campaign.

    Here are your final standings from the Tshwane Open:

    PositionPlayerNationScoreTo Par
    1.Ross FisherEngland268-20 
    2. Michael HoeyNorthern Ireland 271 -17 
    2. Danie Van TonderSouth Africa 271 -17 
    4. Carlos Del Moral Spain 272 -16 
    5. Hennie Otto South Africa 273 -15 
    6. Darren Fichardt South Africa 275 -13 
    6. Kevin PhelanIreland 275 -13 
    6. Chris Wood England 275 -13 
    9. Merrick BremnerSouth Africa 276 -12 

    We covered all four days of the action here on Bleacher Report. Flick back through the slides for a breakdown of how the action unfolded and how Fisher eventually emerged as the victor.

     

Fisher Sees It Out

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    Warren Little/Getty Images

    Ross Fisher won the Tshwane Open by three shots from Michael Hoey and Danie Van Tonder, to give him his first tournament victory for four years. He had to withstand a late charge from Northern Irishman Hoey on the final day, but held his nerve down the back nine to take the title.

    Here are your final tournament standings:

    PositionPlayerNationScoreTo Par
    1.Ross FisherEngland268-20 
    2. Michael HoeyNorthern Ireland 271 -17 
    2. Danie Van TonderSouth Africa 271 -17 
    4. Carlos Del Moral Spain 272 -16 
    5. Hennie Otto South Africa 273 -15 
    6. Darren Fichardt South Africa 275 -13 
    6. Kevin PhelanIreland 275 -13 
    6. Chris Wood England 275 -13 
    9. Merrick BremnerSouth Africa 276 -12 

    The Englishman shot his worst round of the week to finish two-under par for the day and twenty-under for the Championship. And despite starting the day with a five shot advantage over the chasing pack, at one point it looked as though some sloppy play was going to cost Fisher; Hoey had cut the lead down to just one shot with seven holes to play.

    But Fisher was given a lifeline when Hoey, perhaps with adrenaline and a little bit of inexperience getting the better of him, hit his approach to the 12th into the water. He was to double bogey that hole, and Fisher seized his opportunity.

    An eagle from Fisher at the par five 15th ensured he could enjoy the final few holes, whilst Hoey eventually finished as joint runner up with home-crowd favourite Van Tonder.

    Afterwards, Fisher stated that despite that late scare, he was always confident that he'd triumph here per BBC Sport:

    I had a couple of wobbles but always believed the trophy would be mine. The 15th was the key hole. It was my second birdie of the tournament there and I felt confident about the putt after taking my time reading the line.

    Putting has been my Achilles heel for many, many years, but I loved the greens here and got the lines correct most of the time.

    This win thrusts Fisher right into contention for a spot on the European Ryder Cup team later in the year at Gleneagles. After such a long spell without a trophy, he'll be desperate to build on this win and play plenty of good quality golf up until then.

Fisher Extends His Lead

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    Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Englishman Ross Fisher consolidated his control of the Tshwane Open by taking a five shot lead on day three. 

    Fisher went round in a five-under-par 67 to finish with a total of 198 at the Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate.

    It was not the best of starts to the round for Fisher, who started with a bogey at the first before recording seven birdies and one more bogey.

    Michael Hoey went round in 69 and currently stands in second spot on 203, one ahead of Simon Dyson on 71 and Spain's Carlos Del Moral on 71.

    Reuters reported Fisher's comments following the round.

    I feel like I'm playing as good as I ever have, probably similar to when I was contending in majors and getting myself into the 2010 Ryder Cup tea.

    If I were to win here it would be a massive confidence boost and a step in the right direction.

    Here are the standings at the end of the third round, courtesy of the European Tour website


     Position
    Player Name Nation Hole Par 
     1.Ross Fisher England 18-18
     2.Michael HoeyNorthern Ireland 18 -13 
    T3. Simon Dyson England18 -12 
    T3. Carlos Del Moral Spain 18 -12 

    T5.

    Darren Fichardt South Africa 18 -11 
    T5. Trevor Fisher Jnr South Africa 18 -11 
    T5. Edoardo Molinari Italy 18 -11 
    T5. Danie Van Tonder South Africa 18 -11 
    T5. Hennie Otto South Africa18 -11 

     

     

     

Fisher Takes Control with Second Day Round of 65

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    Warren Little/Getty Images

    Ross Fisher took the lead with a seven under round of 65 on the second day of action at the Tshwane Open. The Englishman's 13 under par overall is closely followed by Morten Orum Madsen, who is just one shot behind after also sinking 65.

    Here's a look at the current leaderboard:

    PositionPlayer NameNationHolePar
    1.Ross FisherEngland18-13
    2.Morten Orum MadsenDenmark18-12
    T3.Simon DysonEngland18-11
    T3.Carlos del MoralSpain18-11
    T5.Darren FichardtSouth Africa18-10
    T5.Trevor Fisher Jr.South Africa18-10
    T5.Jake RoosSouth Africa18-10
    T8.Gaganjeet BhullarIndia18-9
    T8.Edoardo MolinariItaly18-9
    T8.Chris WoodEngland18-9
    T8.Michael HoeyNorthern Ireland18-9

    Full leaderboard can be viewed at EuropeanTour.com

    Fisher enjoyed a solid run of five birdies, four of which came down the back nine, to assert himself at the top of the rankings. Much like Dyson's run of four consecutive birdies on the previous day, the English hopeful found a level of consistency that made him extremely hard to contend with.

    The highlight came from a smart eagle on hole 15, a shot that would ultimately put Fisher just ahead of Madsen on the leaderboard.

    Madsen sunk an excellent seven birdies and claimed the clubhouse lead before Fisher's performance saw him push the Dane into second. Even so, he was extremely pleased with his performance, as reported by the European Tour website:

    It's always fun to see your name up there on the leaderboard and that's what we play for. I practice to put myself in that position and to have a chance at the weekend is always great and it's something I really cherish.

    It wasn't such a smart day for original leader Dyson, who struggled with a pair of bogeys to drop from the summit. He was joined by Carlos del Moral on 11 under overall after the Spaniard matched the round's best score of 65 to improve on his 68 from day one.

    Trevor Fisher Jr. struggled to maintain his exceptional pace with a second round showing that dropped him into tied fifth. He sunk four birdies and a bogey to lose momentum. Fisher Jr. resides alongside countrymen Darren Fichardt and Jake Roos on 10 under, suggesting the South African contingency may well push for the crown as the competition rolls on.

    Defending champion Dawie van der Walt is expected to miss the projected cut with an overall score of eight over. Despite hitting his first two birdies of the tournament, a further four bogeys took his count to 10 for the entire meet.

Dyson Tidies Up on Opening Day

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    Simon Dyson impressed on Day 1 of the Tshwane Open.
    Simon Dyson impressed on Day 1 of the Tshwane Open.Warren Little/Getty Images

    Simon Dyson leads the way after the first day of the Tshwane Open in South Africa.

    The Englishman, a six-time winner on the European Tour, played an excellent opening round to finish seven under par on 65 before play was suspended for bad weather.

    PositionPlayer NameNationalityHolePar
    T1Simon DysonEngland18-7
    T1Trevor Fisher JuniorSouth Africa16-7
    T3Jared HarveySouth Africa18-6
    T3Ross FisherEngland18-6
    T3Erik van Rooyen South Africa18-6
    T3Darren Fichardt South Africa17-6
    T3Danie van Tonder South Africa17-5
    T8Lucas Bjerregaard Denmark 18-5
    T8Chris WoodEngland18-5

    Full leaderboard can be viewed at EuropeanTour.com

     

    Dyson birdied the second, fifth and 10th holes before really hitting form on the last four, where he managed consecutive birdies.    

    Afterward, he was reported by the European Tour's official website as saying he was happy with his strong start:

    It’s a lovely start. It’s my lowest round in a good few years, especially on the first day. It just puts you in a nice frame of mind, a good stead, and sets it up nicely to have a good weekend.

    Nevertheless, Dyson faces plenty of competition from South African competitors, who have won the last four Tour events held in the country. His closest rival after the opening round is Trevor Fisher Jr., who finished seven under par after 16 holes.

    Earlier in the day, without a European Tour win in four years, Ross Fisher put himself in contention after completing his opening-round score of six under par.

    Starting on the back nine, Fisher was error-free before bogeying on the first. He then made four straight birdies on Nos. 5 through 8, including a putt from 20 feet at the seventh.

    South Africans Jared Harvey and Erik van Rooyen also gave good chase, finishing the day on the same terms.

    Meanwhile, defending champion Dawie van der Walt struggled to replicate last year's form, with bogeys on the first, fourth and fifth holes leaving him at the wrong end of the field.

    Play is scheduled to restart at 8:45 a.m. GMT on Friday.

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