Fox takes lead at Irish Open

Ryan Fox, pictured here at last year’s Irish Open, is leading the field.

Beachlands pro golfer Ryan Fox continued his love affair with the Rolex Series as he fired an opening 67 to take a one-shot lead into the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Fox has played in all 11 of the prestige events since they were introduced last season, securing four top 10s including a tie for fourth at this event last season and a tie for eighth at the Italian Open five weeks ago, www.europeantour.com reported.

With Ballyliffin Golf Club looking picture perfect as it made its Irish Open debut at the fourth Rolex Series event of the season, Fox continued that form to get to five under as he looks to secure a second consecutive appearance at the Open Championship.

He played his way into the year’s third Major Championship at this event last season and once again there are three places available to the leading players in the top ten not already exempt.

Home favourite and two-time Claret Jug winner Padraig Harrington’s place at Carnoustie Golf Links is already assured and he was a shot off the lead alongside Englishmen Ashley Chesters, Robert Rock, Lee Westwood and Danny Willett, and French pair Matthieu Pavon and Adrien Saddier.

Fox, 31, finished 34th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in his debut season last term, and is currently 40th after making 10 of 13 cuts in a consistent campaign so far.

“I drove it nice. I think I probably only hit five or six fairways but missed them in the right places and hit a lot of good drives that just ran through fairways and gave myself a lot of chances,” he said.

“I’d love to be in the Open and Carnoustie is one of the best golf courses in the world I think and I’d love the chance to play there in an Open.

“As good a start as I can have, really, and hopefully three more rounds and if I can sneak in that top five like last year and get an Open spot, that would be great.”