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Fisher edges Hoey to title

GOLF: Former Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher returned to winning ways by triumphing in the Tshwane Open yesterday, seeing off a spirited challenge from Michael Hoey to secure his first European Tour victory for four years.

The 33-year-old Englishman went into the last round five shots ahead and carded a final round 70 to finish 20-under-par, three shots clear of Northern Ireland's Hoey, who tied for second place with South African Danie van Tonder.

Fisher led from the second round onwards at the Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf Golf and Country Estate course but he needed much fortitude in overcast conditions on the final day as Hoey closed the gap to a single shot at the 11th with a birdie after an attacking front nine.

But the next hole saw Hoey double bogey for Fisher to go back three ahead, from which point he never looked back.

"It was a testing day with the weather conditions so I was thrilled to get over line. My putting has been my Achilles heel for a while but I saw the lines all this week and really did well," said Fisher.

Hoey posted a final round 68, leaving him 17-under for his best ever Tour finish and sharing second prize with Van Tonder, whose 66 was the best round of the day.

HAMILTON FASTEST

F1: Lewis Hamilton brought the curtain down on pre-season testing with the quickest time of the final day, but it was not without issues.

Hamilton spent almost the first four hours of the day at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain in the garage as his Mercedes mechanics worked on a gearbox problem. Once on track, Hamilton completed 69 laps, with his best a one minute 33.278secs, 0.020secs behind Felipe Massa's benchmark for Williams on Saturday.

The gearbox trouble, however, in conjunction with a number of other niggles for Mercedes throughout the final test, will give the team cause for concern.

DUBS ON DOUBLE

ATHLETICS: It was a Dublin double in the Woodie's DIY National Cross-Country in Dundalk with victories for Raheny Shamrock's Mick Clohisey and Clonliffe Harriers' Sarah McCormack.

"My goal was to apply the pressure from the start, but it was hard work. I'm delighted with the victory – it's a race I've always wanted to win and I've got the hunger back," said Clohisey.

In the women's event McCormack finally pulled away with the finishing line in sight to take the honours.


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