Fisher wins partner over - hook, line and sinker

Newport: Padraig Harrington applauded his partner`s scintillating form after he and Ross Fisher beat Americans Jim Furyk and Dustin Johnson 2&1 in their Ryder Cup fourball match on Sunday.

Rookie Fisher rattled up six birdies in the best-ball format at Celtic Manor, leaving the triple major champion shaking his head in wonderment.

"He played some fantastic golf," Harrington told reporters after Fisher sealed victory with a 15-foot birdie putt at the par-three 17th.

"Quality-wise, he certainly played the best golf anybody has probably ever seen in a Ryder Cup. He made all the shots, holed all the putts. He really did play awesome."

Fisher reeled off three consecutive birdies from the par-three third as the Europeans led one up after eight holes when play was suspended in fading light on Saturday.

The Europeans never relinquished their grip after the resumption and a three-putt bogey from Johnson at the par-four 14th put the Americans two down.

Fisher coolly drained his birdie putt on the 17th green before dropping his putter and thrusting his arms skywards to orchestrate the galleries.

"I just had so much fun out there," the long-hitting Englishman said. "Being with Paddy again, you know you`re with a great champion, a three-time major champion, and he showed his class."

"I got him to read my putts and every time I was standing over a putt I felt so confident. As you saw there (on 17) I just hit it on the line he gave me."

The win by Harrington and Fisher put Europe ahead for the first time at this week`s Ryder Cup with a 7-6 advantage and the Englishman was stunned by the vocal fan support.

"This is truly unbelievable," Fisher said. "All you have to do is listen to those fans behind us. You never want to miss it (in the future)."

"The fans are tremendous and hopefully we can see just as many, if not more, tomorrow," he added, referring to the concluding 12 singles matches.

Harrington agreed with his partner.

"The support was unbelievable, it kept us going," said the Irishman. "In the middle of the round I hit a couple of bad shots and I just thought to myself, every time I looked up, every time I smiled, I got a cheer."

"It just made you feel like you were on top of the world."

Bureau Report