Vilamoura, Portugal – Ross Fisher battled through a sprained ankle and carded a 4-under 67 on Friday to retain the lead through two rounds of the Portugal Masters.
Fisher suffered the injury on his first shot of the day and bogeyed No. 1 while adjusting to the pain. The Englishman then birdied the fourth and received treatment at the seventh before closing with a flurry to grab sole possession of the lead at 10-under 132.
"It was a strange day," said Fisher. "I hit a beautiful tee shot off the first and just kind of walked off the tee and went to put my left foot down and it just rolled over onto the ankle. At first you don't really feel it but then the pain sort of comes through."
Stephen Gallacher, who entered Friday tied with Fisher atop the leaderboard, opened the second round with 16 straight pars before tallying a birdie on No. 17. The Scot parred the last to finish the day tied for second place with Bernd Wiesberger at 7-under.
Padraig Harrington carded eight birdies Friday at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course, but stumbled to a double-bogey on the par-4 third en route to a 67 and a fourth-place tie with Fredrik Andersson Hed -- 6-under 136.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, Michael Campbell, Christian Nilsson and Shane Lowry are tied for sixth at 5-under 137.
Defending champion Tom Lewis, who captured his first and only European Tour victory at this event last year, ended with a 73 on Friday and just made the cut at even par.
Jose Maria Olazabal, making his first appearance since captaining the European team to a stunning Ryder Cup victory, failed to make the cut after battling through challenging winds and recording a 75 for the second straight day.
The Spaniard was paired with two of his Medinah comeback catalysts, Francesco Molinari and Martin Kaymer. The former has tallied a 71 in both rounds, while the latter carded a 75 on Friday and, like his captain, failed to make the cut.
Fisher, who has recorded five top-10 finishes this year, received treatment from a trainer on No. 7 and began to find his stride on his second nine.
Starting at the 12th, he tallied three birdies in four holes to reach 3-under for the round. He followed with a bogey on No. 16, but atoned on the next when he dropped his second shot on the fringe of the green and drained a long eagle putt.
A par on the last wrapped up the leader's 4-under second round.
"It was pretty sore," said Fisher of the ankle. "(The trainer) just strapped it up and it felt a little but uncomfortable for a couple holes, but once the painkillers started to kick in I could move it reasonably well and walk."
NOTES: This is the final tournament to be played in Europe for 2012. The next time the tour will play on European soil is April, 2013...Phillip Price withdrew on Friday, while Victor Dubuisson and Joel Sjoholm both withdrew on Thursday...Last year, Lewis won by two strokes in his third start as a professional.