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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Saturday, 31 July 2010 18:10 UK

Fisher faces fight for Irish Open

THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD: -12 R Fisher (Eng) -11 C Wood (Eng), F Molinari (Ita) -10 G Fernandez-Castano (Spn) -9 P Harrington (Ire), R Green (Aus) Selected others: -7 R Bland (Eng) -6 P McGinley (Ire), D Clarke (NI)

Fisher saw his overnight lead cut to just one stroke
Fisher was two over par for the back nine at Killarney

England's Ross Fisher saw his lead at the Irish Open cut to only one shot after the third round in Killarney.

Fisher, who was three clear after a 61 on Friday, shot a level-par 71 on Saturday to remain 12 under as the field closed in on the leader.

His compatriot Chris Wood fired a 66 to move within one shot, with Italy's Francesco Molinari also on 11 under.

The Republic of Ireland's Padraig Harrington is on nine under as he looks to provide a home winner.

Harrington recovered from a double-bogey at the eighth to card a 69 to move to within three shots of the lead.

At one stage Fisher was five shots clear of the field but Harrington is convinced he can repeat his 2007 Irish Open victory at Adare Manor in Limerick.

"I am happy still to be in the tournament, and to have actually seen the lead cut down," Harrington said after driving into water at his final hole and sinking a 35ft putt to save par.

"If I play well and get in a good position, I thinks it's possible to catch anyone out there."

A victory for either three-time major winner Harrington or World Match Play champion Fisher could see them rise to sixth in the Ryder Cup points table.

606: DEBATE

Fisher, who lies 13th in the Ryder Cup running going into this week's tournament, carried on where he left off on Friday with birdies at four of the first seven holes.

But he also double-bogeyed at the eighth and dropped further shots at the 15th and 17th to give his chasers renewed hope on Sunday.

"I am a little bit disappointed," reflected Fisher. "And I hadn't realized how far I was ahead at the start of the back nine.

"But I am still leading, I have got a one-shot lead and I am still the man to catch. But if I am going to win I am going to have play more like Friday when I shot 61."

Wood, who out-shot playing partner Rory McIlroy by 10 strokes, moved into contention as he reached the turn on the back of five consecutive birdies.

"The atmosphere playing with Rory made it difficult and it took me a few holes to get it right, but the run I made was good for my confidence," he said.

Wood's round of 66 was matched only by Richard Bland as the best of the day, while Molinari recorded three birdies in a solid two-under-par 69 to maintain his challenge.

US Open champion Graeme McDowell is nine shots off the lead after a 68, while McIlroy's 76 saw him slip away and Justin Rose shot a 73 to leave him two over.



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see also
Fisher misses out on historic 59
30 Jul 10 |  Golf
Rock disqualified from Irish Open
29 Jul 10 |  Golf
Clarke receives US PGA invitation
28 Jul 10 |  Golf
Clarke picked for Ryder Cup role
20 Jul 10 |  Golf
Harrington craves Ryder Cup place
27 Jul 10 |  Golf


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