Beachlands pro golfer Ryan Fox, who has just earned a start at the British Open, had other things on his mind on Saturday night.
Fox, 30, son of Grant Fox – the All Blacks great and ABs selector – on Sunday qualified for the major after a remarkable fourth place in the Irish Open.
It booked him a spot at the Open at Royal Birkdale in Southport, UK, which runs from July 16-23.
The weekend’s result moves Fox into 28th place in the European Tour’s Race for Dubai. It guarantees his place on the tour next season – the top 100 players earn their card to play on the Tour. It also bumps him up to 122nd in the world golf rankings.
But Saturday evening (NZ time) brought a major distraction – the third and final test, the decider between the All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions.
With one test win apiece, the winner on Saturday’s massive test at Eden Park would have given the victor the spoils, the bragging rights.
It finished a draw, 15-15. Stalemate. And as with many great sporting events, there was controversy, notably referee Romain Poite changing his mind on a penalty in favour of the All Blacks in the final minute. Enough said. Everyone’s said it. The All Blacks should never have left themselves in such a precarious position anyway.
Fox, the younger, agrees. “The ABs blew a few too many chances in the first half and probably should have put it out of reach before that “decision”,” he told the Times.
“The Lions turned up to play though, with some strong defence and they threw the ball round a bit. Just gotta wait 12 years now.”
Watching in test match in Ireland did little to help.
“It was tough only having a couple of All Black supporters on tour and being surrounded by Lions supporters the last few weeks.”