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European Tour: Englishman Fisher can catch the prize

| 07.05.2014

The betting leaderboard for the Madeira Islands Open is dominated by past winners, however, no-one since its inauguration in 1993 has defended the trophy and this week’s advice is to look elsewhere.

Ricardo Santos (10/1) and James Morrison (33/1) landed the money in 2012 and 2010 respectively but neither player has threatened on the back nine of any Sabbath this season.

While local hero Santos has at least made the top-10 this campaign he has failed to match the heights of the last two years while the best finish for Morrison has been a tie for 16th at the Joburg Open forcing us to look elsewhere for better value.

And our search begins with second favourite and runner-up to the discarded Morrison in 2010, Oliver Fisher (16/1).

The 25-year-old has been in fine form this term with two top-six finishes, including when just losing out to Thomas Aiken in a play-off for the Africa Open.

In six of his 10 starts this year Fisher has come no worse than 24th and that momentum could culminate into another Sunday challenge for 2014.

The past amateur star was in danger of having to return to qualifying school for the second time after missing 20 of his first 21 cuts of the 2011 season but then won the Czech Open three events later to gain a two year tour-exemption.

Fisher has made the most of that security after just failing to make the main PGA Tour in 2012 and looks primed to notch his second title at the expense of a field the confident Englishmen will feel he is a cut above of.

Another player to watch out for is Lucas Bjerregard (20/1) who is playing the best golf of his unheralded career and could be about to go to the next level.

In his 10 starts this year the Norwegian has only been out of the top-35 twice and although investors obviously will need more from the 22-year-old this week there is mounting evidence that he is capable of delivering.

Bjerregard has yet to break his maiden on the tour but he won the European Amateur Championships in 2010 and has come through the gauntlet of Qualifying School on three occasions thus  giving the impression his temperament is made of the right stuff.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster