Wales Open: Ross Fisher moves two ahead at halfway point

Ross Fisher at the Wales Open
Ross Fisher takes the lead midway through the Wales Open

Ross Fisher returned to form on Friday with a five-under total of 66 to open up a two-stroke lead after the second round of the Wales Open.

The Englishman has suffered a dip in form since helping Europe to Ryder Cup glory in 2010, and has missed the cut in his last two tournaments.

But he was in no danger of that fate on Friday as he hit six birdies to move ahead of compatriot Lee Slattery.

"Hopefully this will be the start of a big summer for me," he said.

"Last year was disappointing and so far this year, nothing has really happened."

The tournament is taking place at Celtic Manor near Newport, scene of Europe's Ryder Cup success two years ago, and Fisher said it was course he feels suits him well.

"It's always nice to come back to good hunting ground, familiar turf," said the four-time winner on the European Tour.

"The Ryder Cup was a great experience. I played really well that week and enjoyed it.

"There are certain spots that you think, the pin was there in the Ryder Cup, or I hit it here and holed this putt.

"I have some fond memories and I've had some decent results here. It's a course I feel should suit me."

Overnight leader Slattery started the day on four under but bogeys at the third, sixth and eighth saw him drop down the leaderboard.

However, an eagle on the 11th coupled with birdies on the ninth and 13th helped him recover to eventually card a level-par 71.

"I think the eagle on 11 was the turning point in the round," said Slattery.

"The swing certainly didn't feel as good as yesterday. I hit a lot of shots left but just managed to bounce back well."

Paraguay's Fabrizio Zanotti looked set to join Slattery on four under after a run of five birdies in six holes saw him surge up the leaderboard.

However, he bogeyed his final hole to sign for a 69 and share third with England's Chris Wood (67) and Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee (68).

Colin Montgomerie, back on the course where he led Europe to Ryder Cup victory, made the cut.

The Scot endured a disappointing opening-day 74, but improved on Friday as a one-over 72 was enough to see him through to the weekend.

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