Golf

Fisher faces baby dilemma

2011-03-28 14:04
Ross Fisher (File)

London - Green Jacket or hospital gown? That is the dilemma title hopeful Ross Fisher could face during next week's Masters.

The impending birth of his second child on April 12 threatens to leave the European Ryder Cup player with an agonising decision to make when, under normal circumstances, he would be focused on his performance at the opening major of the year.

It is a case of deja vu for the 30-year-old Briton who was confronted with a similar problem when his first child was due to be born at the same time as he was competing at the 2009 British Open.

"To be perfectly honest I don't know what I'll do if the baby comes early," Fisher told Reuters in a telephone interview as he continued his preparations for this week's Masters warm-up event, the Houston Open in Texas.

"I'll just have to wait and see when the baby comes. I'll have to cross that bridge if and when we come to it."

Two years ago Fisher went into the final round of the British Open at Turnberry one shot off the lead but vowing to drop everything and return home if his wife Joanne went into labour.

Such was his desperation not to miss the birth he instructed his manager to alert him on the course if his wife's situation changed.

In the end no such interruption was necessary. Fisher finished four strokes behind winner Stewart Cink of the U.S. before rushing off to witness the arrival of daughter Eve.

This time round the issue is complicated by the fact the Englishman is on the other side of the Atlantic.

"It is a fairly similar situation although obviously a little harder with me being in the States as opposed to being in Scotland," said the 6-foot-3 Englishman.

"That will make things a little trickier. It would be very difficult to get back in time."

Fisher was flying high at 20th in the world rankings after his Irish Open victory in August but a mediocre run of form, during which he has recorded just one top-10 finish, has seen him slide to 43rd.

"If you don't perform well you're ranking tends to suffer and disappointingly that is what has happened to me," said the four-times European Tour winner.

"I have slipped down so I want to have a couple of good weeks now and get back up there again.

"The rankings are very important to me. My goal eventually is to be the number one," added Fisher.

"I'd like to get there one day and I'm going to be working hard to get there."

Fisher proved he was capable of mixing it with the best when he led all four majors at one stage in 2009.

"That's a pretty nice statistic to have and hopefully this year or in years to come I can not just lead but actually win some," said the former World Match Play, European Open and Dutch Open champion.

"That is the best stage in golf. But no one really remembers a player that leads a major, they only remember those that win them.

"It's nice though to have that stat behind me and it gives me a lot of belief," added the big-hitting Fisher.

"You need all the luck and all the breaks to win a major. I haven't quite had mine yet but I definitely think I have the game to win one."

Fisher, who missed the cut at the Masters last year, said the key to mounting a challenge at Augusta next week would be his putting.

"I am really looking forward to it," he said. "It is a course I feel comfortable on and it is somewhere where I think I can win.

"My extra length obviously helps but the most important thing is to play well on the greens. That's the key to winning at Augusta."

The Masters starts on April 7.

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