Date: March 31, 2008

Pace too hot for Millar

Australian Matthew Millar&aposs fadeout in the second half of the Andalucian Open in Spain has cost him a place in the tournament&aposs top 10. Millar, who shared the lead after 36 holes, followed up his third-round 72 with a one-over-par closing-round of 73, leaving him seven-under the card for the week. It was enough for a share of 12th place and well off the cracking final day pace set by young gun Oliver Fisher and French veteran Thomas Levet. In the end the rising English star lost a golden opportunity to become the European Tour&aposs fifth youngest winner as Levet&aposs experienced secured him the title. Fisher was three ahead with six holes to play and still two in front on the 17th tee, but the 19-year-old lost a play-off to Levet in a dramatic close. After Levet sank a 20-foot birdie putt on the short 17th, Fisher&aposs adrenalin-fuelled three iron tee shot in the swirling wind ran through the final fairway into water. Bogeying the hole – and that after Levet&aposs greenside bunker shot had hit the cup – meant they were both round in 67s for 16-under-par totals of 272. Returning to the same tee Fisher not surprisingly took a four iron, but pushed into a bunker and bogeyed again to lose. Long-time leader and defending champion Lee Westwood was third three shots back, having played his last 11 holes in a disappointing three-over-par. Fisher, in his second full season as a professional and ranked 290th in the world, said: “I would have loved to win, but I am sure there will be more chances.” “I was pretty happy with my week. I got myself into contention and played pretty nicely,” he added. “You learn from your mistakes – you have to learn to lose before you learn to win almost. It was disappointing, but never mind.” Jose Maria Olazabal&aposs first event for seven months ended with him in 61st place.