Englishman Oliver Fisher Takes First Round Lead at Qatar Masters

Oliver Fisher’s strong start to 2015 continued as he fired a seven-under par 65 to take the lead after the first day of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. Fisher, after finishing 12th at Abu Dhabi last week, hit eight birdies and only one bogie to take a one shot lead over Rafa Cabrera-Bello. He talked about his round yesterday:

Q. Was this something you were expecting, building towards?
OLIVER FISHER: I finished last week well. Played nicely in Abu Dhabi. This course, I played it quite a few times and that, so this Middle East swing, kind of get it know it a bit after a few years. Played nice today. It was a little bit breezy. I felt like I controlled my golf ball. Played good and gave myself a lot of chances so it was a good round.

Q. You must have a good feeling about this place because it gave you a start many years ago, didn’t it?
OLIVER FISHER: Yeah, it’s like anywhere. If I play well and hit the ball like I can do, you can take advantage of some of these courses. The weather out here has been lovely today. We’ve been lucky with the conditions this afternoon.
First few days in practise, it was blowing absolute a gale, so I think it was pretty lucky today.

Q. When you came here all these years ago for the first time and your dad was on your bag and you were very much a developing player; where do you see yourself now in terms of maturity as a player and what you have to target for the year ahead?
OLIVER FISHER: I think the biggest thing for me is just to try my best. Obviously I lost my card a couple years ago and then played well last season, so to get it back in The Race to Dubai– I think things are improving. My consistency is getting better. Just a matter of people trying and sticking to the things that do me well at the moment and try my best.

Q. When you look at the leaderboard and the kind of players, must make you feel good.
OLIVER FISHER: Obviously it does. It’s a great field like last week and great field obviously next week, too. I’m out there giving it my all every time until the last shot and hopefully add them up at the end of the day and hopefully it’s a good run.

Q. What are your thoughts on a round like that to start?
OLIVER FISHER: It was obviously really nice. I started well. I started on 10 and made a good pitch. I know that pin is quite difficult on the 10th, and hit a good pitch to four feet. It’s always nice to start with a birdie around here. I think the 10th, we play that wind left all day on the range, and get on the first hole and it’s straight out of the left again. It’s nice to start like that.
Made a few birdies at the later part of the turn, 16, 17, 18, and then the front nine I actually played lovely. Gave myself a lot of chances. I missed them on 1, 2, 3, made one on 4, had a good up-and-down on 5 and played nice coming in. Made a good little 6-footer for par on the last on 9. That’s a tough pin when it gets put at the back there.
It was a good round. I’m happy with the way I played and hopefully I can keep on hitting it like that the next few days.

Q. Presumably you were happy on the back of Abu Dhabi, shot 67 to close a good week around 12th position.
OLIVER FISHER: Yeah, I played nice last week. I played lovely on Saturday and didn’t make much and shot 2-under, and shot a good round on Sunday so it was nice to finish the week like that.
These tournaments I think it’s all about kind of hitting the ball well and give yourself chances and hitting fairways and greens. You look at the guys that do well, it’s generally the guys that hit the ball well. If we can go out tomorrow and my ball-striking is good, hopefully make a few good putts here and there and make a good score.

Q. Nice to get off to a promising start like this?
OLIVER FISHER: I think last year I started the season well. I had a good finish down in Africa. Made quite a few cuts last year. Just a matter of giving yourself chances, and kind of if the consistency is good and if your level of play is okay, you can keep trying to improve.
I’ve had a few years where I’ve struggled with my long game and then you kind are always working at things and going out on the course and not really sure what’s happening. My feelings are pretty consistent right now. It’s just a matter of keep doing more of the same.

Q. Hard work over the Christmas break or nice relaxation or a good balance?
OLIVER FISHER: No, I had a few weeks off after Dubai. I didn’t do very much for three or four weeks and came out here on the fourth of January. It’s been a nice break.

Q. I take it you feel the benefit of coming to this part of the world to get the sun on your back when you practise?
OLIVER FISHER: It’s always nice to feel a bit of sunshine after having four weeks at home, isn’t it. No, it’s been good.