ROSS Fisher is closing in on becoming the first former PGA EuroPro Tour member to represent Europe in The Ryder Cup.
Fisher, 29, moved up to fifth in the European points list after he won the latest event on the European Tour – The Irish Open at Killarney.
A course record 61 on Friday moved Fisher to the top of the leaderboard and a final day score of 65 saw him stay there, despite a spirited last-day performance from Padraig Harrington.
Fisher’s 266 aggregate, 18 under par, matched the tournament record set nine years ago by Colin Montgomerie – and with it Fisher climbs into contention to be a part of Montgomerie’s Ryder Cup Team.
“It just feels great to come out on top against such a world-class field,” said Fisher after receiving the trophy and the â‚¬500,000 first prize.
“I could hear the roars and knew Padraig was making a charge. I just tried to stay patient and this is what we play for – we want to give ourselves a chance and I am no different.”
Fisher’s career has taken off since he played in two EuroPro Tour events back in 2005.
After progressing through the final qualifying round, he finished tied fourth at Wensum Valley in Norfolk and was third going into the last day at the Players’ Club before a horror final round of 84 left him in tied 39th.
Fisher’s progression from the PGA EuroPro Tour to winning on the European Tour and potentially appearing in the Ryder Cup should act as an inspiration to every golfer on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
Three current members of the Tour also played in Killarney with Barrie Trainor making the cut in a high-quality field.
Trainor, 29, was just outside the top 30 early on the second day after an opening round of 69 left him on two under.
He narrowly made the cut after a second round two-over before his worst round of the competition, a 77, left him well down the field. But he responded well with a level-par round of 71 on Sunday to finish in tied 66th, where he pocketed â‚¬6,450.
Trainor, the 2009 Ulster Golf Champion, has been a professional since 2005 and played on the PGA EuroPro Tour for the last two seasons.
He played in ten events in 2009 with his best finish being tied fifth at the Players Club in Bristol while in 2010 he has claimed top 25 finishes at both Castle Gargan and Galgorm Castle.
Other EuroPro Tour members in action in Ireland include Damien Mooney and Gary Cullen, who finished in 72nd and 139th respectively.
There was heartbreak for another former Tour star as Robert Rock, a Tour member in 2005, went round six-under and was tied second but was disqualified after signing for a lower number at the 15th than he should have done.