Ryan Fox in contention to make British Open

Last updated 18:43 29/01/2013

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New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox has given himself every chance of qualifying for this year's British Open.

Fox heads into tomorrow's second and final round of the International Final Qualifying event in Melbourne in a share of sixth place after carding a three-under par 69 in the opening round at Kingston Heath.

The big hitting Aucklander is just two shots behind the first round leaders, Australian professional Stephen Dartnall and compatriot amateur Cameron Smith, with three more Australians tied for third at four-under.

The top three players in the 72-strong field after 36 holes will be given a place at The Open, to be played this year at Muirfield, in July.

It could have been so much better for Fox, who made the turn in three-under 33 after three birdies but struck huge trouble at the par-five 12th, recording a triple bogey eight, a potentially crippling score in such a short tournament.

But he rallied superbly to play his final six holes in three-under to give himself a genuine chance of qualifying for his first major championship tomorrow.

The other New Zealand hopefuls will all need to go low tomorrow.

Mike Hendry had a one-under par 71 to share 18th, while Mark Brown and Josh Geary opened with even-par rounds of 72 to share 27th place.

Hamish Robertson (75), Gareth Paddison (76) and Brad Shilton (78) are all out of contention. 

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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