Beachlands’ Ryan Fox has capped off a remarkable first year in Europe by finishing top Australasian in the final event of the season as well as the year-long Race to Dubai.
PGA.org.au reported that the long hitting New Zealander posted a final round of 3-under 69 at the Dubai World Tour Championship to climb to 8-under for the week and a share of 28th in the 60-player field.
Fox graduated from the secondary Challenge Tour at the end of 2016 and wasted little time finding his feet on the main circuit to be 34th in earnings for the season.
Five top-10 finishes in his 29 starts, three of them at the lucrative Rolex Series events, saw him bank more than €1 million ($1.72m), the only Australasian to pass the magical million mark, PGA.org.au said.
He joined the Times for a Christmas Q&A.
Q. What’s it like to see the end of the tour?
A. Even though the season is finished, the new season starts again the following week. It won’t feel like the end of the season till I actually get a break. I’m very proud of what I achieved this year in Europe and hopefully can improve on it next year.
Q. What’s next for you in terms of golf?
A. The Australian PGA (Nov 30–Dec 3) on the Gold Coast and then I have six weeks off over Xmas.
Q. Do you get a break where you put away the clubs for a while?
A. I will put the clubs away from the 4th of December up until the start of next year probably. I will still play the odd social game with mates and my dad (All Black great and selector Grant Fox) but won’t be doing any practice. I still love the game and play it for fun too.
Q. Are you heading back to NZ? What will you do over Christmas/New Year?
A. Yes heading back to NZ after the Aussie PGA and will spend the break catching up with friends and family and hopefully getting to do a lot of fishing and some surfing.
Q. How do you celebrate Christmas?
A. Will celebrate Christmas with my family and my girlfriend’s family. Both family Christmases will be out of Auckland this year which will be a nice change.
Q. Favourite food?
A. Hard to go past the Christmas ham and we also have a fillet of beef too which I’m a big fan of.
Q. Tell us about your world and European rankings?
A. I finished the season 34th on the European Tour money list which exceeded all my goals this year. The main goal was to keep a card which is top 100 and I far exceeded that. World ranking is around 120 at the moment. Snuck inside the top 100 for a couple of weeks in the middle of the year and would like to get back there.
Q. Goals for next year?
A. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and work them out yet. That will be done over Christmas. The obvious goal is to win on the European Tour which is very tough to do.
Q. What’s been your highlight of the season?
A. That’s a tough one as there has been so many. Playing in two majors and a World Golf Championship was pretty tough to beat.
Q. And lowlight?
A. There’s been quite a few missed cuts. They are never fun.
Q. How does a golfer keep fit?
A. We all have our gym routines which vary from player to player but it is an important part of the professional game. We also walk about 10km per round of golf and I have probably played close to 259 rounds this year so the baseline fitness from that is pretty good anyway.