Fox wins, breaks course record

Ryan Fox fired a final round of 10-under 62 to finish at 23-under par at Gulf Harbour Country Club. Photo Golf NZ

Ryan Fox has broken the course record at Gulf Harbour Country Club on his way to winning the inaugural The Clubroom Gulf Harbour Open at the weekend.

Fox, from Beachlands, fired a final round of 10-under 62 to finish at 23-under par for the tournament to win by a whopping seven strokes over Josh Geary and local hero James Hydes, Golf NZ reported.

After carding rounds of 67, 70, and 66, Fox started the final round a shot back of overnight leader Ben Campbell but quickly made his intentions clear with a birdie at the opening hole to tie Campbell’s lead.

He took command of the tournament on the second hole with another birdie with Campbell making bogey, and Fox would never look back, Golf NZ said.

He made pars at the third and fourth holes before making back-to-back eagles at the fifth and sixth holes to separate himself and the rest of the field. He would par the remaining holes on the front nine and made the turn at six-under and hold a sizeable lead.

Fox began the back in similar fashion to the front making three birdies on the trot on the 10th, 11th, and 12th holes to get to nine-under for the day. He picked up another with a birdie at the 16th and needed to eagle the par 5 17th and birdie the 18th to shoot the magical number of 59.

He could only manage par up the final two holes, but it was good enough to break the course record which was equaled by amateur Sam Jones in the second round.

Fox says it was special to win on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour for the first time since 2014 and hit some great shots under some pressure.

“I felt like a score like this was coming. I played great in the first round with the exception of one hole and played great yesterday but felt as though I left a lot out there,” said Fox.

“It was nice to get it going early and hit some great shots coming home. It’s a really nice feeling.”

The European Tour professional says the win is extra special being that it was not only in front of his home supporters, but his newly born three-month-old child.

“They both came out yesterday and the little one got a little bit sunburnt yesterday and Frazer [Bond] was nice enough to give them a cart to drive around the back nine today and it was really cool to see them out there,” he said.

“To have my first win the little one was a really special feeling. She decided to wake us up at 4am this morning and I thought it was going to be one of those days but I think it might have been a good omen instead.”

He also says he’s missed being back in New Zealand playing competitive golf and looks forward to repeating some good golf at the Autex Muriwai Open next week, Golf NZ said.

Josh Geary and James Hydes finished in a tie for second at 16-under, with Wenyung Keh finishing as the low woman at nine-under and in a tie for ninth.

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