Fisher a PGA Tour convert with rankings goal

Fri Jan 25, 2013 7:10am EST
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - With his world ranking having plummeted out of the top 100 from a career-high 17th, Britain's Ross Fisher felt the timing was right for him to try his hand on the PGA Tour.

So far, so good. The tall Englishman secured his playing privileges on the U.S. circuit for this season by tying for second in the tour's qualifying school and has made an encouraging start to his 2013 campaign.

Fisher tied for 56th at last week's Humana Challenge, rebounding from an opening 74 with three successive scores in the sixties, and surged into contention for the Farmers Insurance Open on Thursday with a sizzling six-under-par 66.

"I'm very happy," a beaming Fisher told Reuters after a seven-birdie display on the North course at Torrey Pines left him just one stroke behind co-leaders KJ Choi of South Korea and American Brandt Snedeker.

"We got very lucky with the weather and I kind of took advantage of that," he said, after a damp and overcast morning gave way to a sunny afternoon at the venue which hugs the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.

"I played solid. I bogeyed my second hole, number 11, and then from then on in it was pretty steady golf. So, for a first day's work, six under, I am really pleased."

Fisher, who won his fourth European Tour title at the 3 Irish Open in 2010 to clinch a debut spot on the European Ryder Cup team, has set his sights on returning to the world's top 50 by the end of this year.

"That's where I feel I belong, and I've been there before," said the Englishman who is now ranked 102nd. "I got to 17 in the world so I know I can get there. It's just hard work, dedication and a bit of luck along the way.   Continued...

British golfer Ross Fisher hits off the 10th tee of the north course during first round play at the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake