Jaidee moves ahead of Fisher in close Wales Open

First published in Wales Open

Accident-prone Ross Fisher overcame another incident to keep himself in the hunt for the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

Despite a problem with a toe and a real struggle on the tee, Fisher managed a third-round 71 and will go into the final day only one shot behind Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee.

The former Ryder Cup player - it was on this very course he made his debut two years ago - stubbed his toe in his hotel room on Friday night.

"There were a few expletives and it was extremely painful," said Fisher. "I couldn't put any weight on it and half-contemplated playing in trainers.

"One of the toes is as purple as anything. I iced it and two of the toes were strapped together, but I hit it everywhere and I'm glad to finish."

Fisher even finished with a birdie, which made five in all, but there were also five bogeys and that allowed former paratrooper Jaidee to take over at the top.

The 42-year-old is a four-time winner on the European Tour, but all those came in Asia, where he has pulled off 15 victories in all.

Jaidee, ranked 199th in the world to Fisher's 157th, also birdied the par five last after an incredible drive measured at 410 yards.

"I think 320 is the longest for me, so when we got to the top of the hill I asked 'where's the ball?' and a marshall told me,'' he said.

"I thought it was 390, but 410 sounds better.''

He only needed a seven-iron second to the 575-yard hole, pushed it into a bunker, but made a 12-footer for the outright lead on seven under.

Fisher, joined in second place by Dutchman Joost Luiten after his best-of-the-week 64, has dropped 130 places on the rankings since he helped Europe to victory.

"It would mean a lot to win. I set very high standards and I reached 17th in the world, so I know I have the game,'' he said.

"Given where I hit it that's one of the best level par rounds I've ever had. I hung in there and dug deep.

"The 63 I had at the European Open (an event he won by seven shots at The London Club in 2008) was good, but today was impressive.''

Playing partner Lee Slattery, two behind Fisher at halfway, could not say the same.

The Southport player put two balls in the water for a quadruple bogey seven on the 189-yard third and with a 76 fell back to joint 26th.

Luiten started the day in a tie for 20th and was even deeper in the pack after a bogey on the fifth.

But birdies at the next two sparked a recovery and by the time he sank a 25-foot putt for an eagle two at the driveable 15th he was out in front.

After two-putting the last for his sixth birdie he said: "It hasn't been a great season, but it's a course that if you play well you can shoot a decent score.''

He was only one off his lowest-ever round on the circuit and that one set him up for his only victory in Indonesia late last season.

Scot Paul Lawrie, second in the Ryder Cup standings, reached two under after eight holes, but a double bogey seven on the next was a big setback and he finished with a 71 for one over like Slattery.

Collated third round scores (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 71): 206 Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 68 67 207 Ross Fisher 70 66 71, Joost Luiten (Ned) 74 69 64 208 Tim Sluiter (Ned) 68 72 68 209 Carlos Del Moral (Spa) 75 68 66, Marcel Siem (Ger) 68 75 66 210 Richard McEvoy 71 70 69, Mark Foster 72 69 69, George Coetzee (Rsa) 71 71 68 211 Damien McGrane 71 71 69, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 71 72 68, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 74 69 68, David Lynn 73 71 67, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 73 69 69 212 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 73 68 71, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 76 68 68, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 72 69 71, Gonzalo Fdez-Castano (Spa) 69 74 69 213 Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 73 69 71, Chris Wood 72 67 74, Joel Sjoholm (Swe) 69 74 70, Romain Wattel (Fra) 73 72 68, Keith Horne (Rsa) 79 66 68, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 77 70 66, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 76 65 72 214 Magnus A Carlsson (Swe) 77 67 70, Robert Coles 73 69 72, Peter Lawrie 72 73 69, Lee Slattery 67 71 76, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 69 74 71, Oscar Floren (Swe) 78 69 67, Brett Rumford (Aus) 74 70 70, David Drysdale 72 71 71, Federico Colombo (Ita) 79 68 67, Paul Lawrie 74 69 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Par) 70 69 75 215 George Murray 75 71 69, Matthew Zions (Aus) 76 71 68, Steven O'Hara 70 72 73, Paul McGinley 72 73 70 216 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 74 69 73, Scott Hend (Aus) 80 66 70 217 Tom Lewis 74 71 72, David Howell 73 69 75, Niclas Fasth (Swe) 74 73 70 218 Jean-Baptiste Gonnet (Fra) 74 69 75, Andrew Johnston 75 72 71, Colin Montgomerie 74 72 72, David Horsey 71 73 74, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 72 72 74, Maarten Lafeber (Ned) 74 72 72, Rich Beem (USA) 77 68 73, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 70 77 71, Gregory Havret (Fra) 75 72 71 219 Jamie Elson 71 75 73, Steen Tinning (Den) 73 73 73, Simon Thornton 69 73 77, Simon Khan 75 70 74, James Morrison 77 70 72 220 Daniel Denison 78 67 75, Oliver Wilson 73 73 74, Reinier Saxton (Ned) 74 71 75, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 73 72 75, Oliver Fisher 76 71 73 221 Ricardo Gonzalez (Arg) 73 72 76, Tommy Fleetwood 75 68 78, Knut Borsheim (Nor) 74 71 76, Andrew Marshall 72 74 75, Miguel Angel Jimenez (Spa) 76 71 74, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 76 71 74 222 Jamie Moul 78 67 77, Stephen Gallacher 77 70 75 225 Fredrik Andersson Hed (Swe) 71 75 79 227 Graeme Storm 80 67 80

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree