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Fisher reels off birdies to take halfway lead

ESPN staff
February 28, 2014 « Pellegrini suspended for three matches | Chartbeat test »
Not even the local wildlife could prevent Ross Fisher from storming into the lead © Getty Images
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Ross Fisher strolled home in just 30 strokes on the back nine at Copperleaf Golf & Country Estate to take the halfway lead at the Tshwane Open.

Fisher, 33, birdied the opening hole before a run of eight straight pars. But a second gain at 10 kick-started a tremendous run of games, which included further birdies at 13, 16 and 17, as well as an eagle at the par-5 15th courtesy of a 40-foot putt.

The 65 saw Fisher, a member of Europe's 2010 Ryder Cup team, reach 13-under par and edge Dane Morten Orum Madsen by a single stroke.

Madsen, who won the South African Open Championship in November, also carded a flawless 65 that included seven birdies.

"Winning has calmed me down a little bit, just by knowing what to expect," Madsen, 25, told EuropeanTour.com. "It's hard to birdie every hole and you've got to deal with adversity well, because you're not going to play perfect golf for 72 holes.

"Whoever deals with the bad holes and bad shots the best is probably also the guy who is going to be on top come Sunday.

"I stayed patient in the beginning of my back nine and made a couple of birdies on six and seven, and then I saved a nice par on nine, so it was a nice way to finish.

"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."

Fisher's fellow Englishman and first round leader, Simon Dyson, maintained his bid for a seventh European Tour title with a second round of 68.

Starting at 10, Dyson carded a birdie and a bogey to remain 7-under par at the turn. But a run of five birdies in his next seven holes, blemished by a single bogey at the second, saw him reach 11-under and remain well in contention going into the weekend.

"It's always tough to follow a low score because you always feel like you're losing ground on what you had the day before," Dyson said.

"I've been out here quite a while now and I knew there were plenty of chances to come today. I also knew that I was putting nicely, so I just stayed patient and hit good putts and eventually a few of them dropped."

Spaniard Carlos Del Moral, yet to win on the European Tour, joined Fisher and Madsen in carding a 65 to share third spot with Dyson, while Northern Ireland's Michael Hoey heads a pack of four on 10-under par that also includes South Africans Darren Fichardt, Trevor Fisher Jr and Jake Roos.

England's Chris Wood and Italian Edoardo Molinari share ninth place at 9-under par with India's Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Tshwane Open leaderboard

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