They say you can’t win the Masters until you’ve played in the Tournament several times, but England’s Ross Fisher wasn’t listening.
In the first round, he played like a veteran, shooting a 3-under-par 69, which could have been even better. He led the Tournament when he was 4-under after 8 holes, and was 5-under after a birdie at the 16th, but then finished with bogeys on the final two holes.
“I’m a bit disappointed with the way I finished, but I played really well and drove the ball really solidly. I came here thinking I had a chance of winning this week, and that can still happen. I’ve been watching this tournament since I was 7 years old, so to finally be here is a dream, and I have to keep pinching myself”
He made birdies at the 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 8th, 11th,and 16th; and impressed the galleries with his length off the tee. He could easily have been a couple more under par, because a putt on the par-3 4th finished half an inch short, and his birdie putt on the 12th lipped out.
Fisher, who was given a golf scholarship by the Wentworth Club when he was 13, comes from a humble background; but he has worked very hard during his four years as a pro, and now finds himself playing with the world’s elite.
Coached by Christian Baker and Mark Roe, he has improved every year; and his 4th place finish in the recent WGC Accenture World Matchplay has convinced him that he can win a big one. His wife, Jo, walked round all 18 holes, despite the fact that she is six months pregnant, with their baby due to be born on the Tuesday of Open week.
Japan's Shingo Katayama is the early leader at The Masters on five under and veteran Larry Mize is also on five under with four holes left to play.
Lee Westwood shot an opening round 70 (two under) and Paul Casey is one under after nine.
Rory McIlroy has only just started and is level par after four holes.