• Portugal Masters, Round One

Fisher off to flyer after Ryder Cup inspiration

ESPN staff
October 11, 2012
Ross Fisher started well in Vilamoura © PA Photos

Englishman Ross Fisher made a blistering start to the opening round of the Portugal Masters at Oceanico Victoria Golf Course on Thursday.

The Englishman, looking to find a win following an underwhelming season to date, carded a six-under par round of 66 to take the early clubhouse lead in Vilamoura, alongside Scotsman Stephen Gallacher.

Four birdies in five holes after the turn - Fisher began his day on the tenth - set the tone for the former Ryder Cup player, who is looking to bounce back to his former standing in the world game.

"It's been coming for a while and it's nice to see the hard work paying off," said Fisher. "I watched a fair bit of it [the Ryder Cup].

"I was tuning in watching and cheering on the boys - I actually felt more nervous sitting on the sofa than I did at Celtic Manor [in 2010], it was kind of weird. If that doesn't inspire me and all of these other guys to get in The Ryder Cup, then you shouldn't be playing the game of golf. That was just awesome; I've experienced it in Wales and it's something that I think - Rory said it once - you've played in one, you never want to miss another one.

"So that did spur me on to get out and work hard. I think 17th in the world was my best, I'm not there now but I'm working hard and I'm improving, so one step at a time and we'll be back hopefully soon enough."

Another Scot, George Murray, is one behind the two early leaders at five-under, while Shane Lowry and Jamie Donaldson lead a group of players handily positioned at four-under.

Martin Kaymer is two-under, meanwhile, with fellow Medinah hero Francesco Molinari at level par following his first day exertions.

Elsewhere, defending champion Tom Lewis - who won in such dramatic circumstances on his debut appearance last year - is two-under for the tournament; an eagle at the par-five fifth the highlight of his round.

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