Ryan Fox plotting a new route to PGA Tour

MATT RICHENS IN ARROWTOWN
Last updated 05:00 27/02/2014

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Ryan Fox could be the first Kiwi to qualify for the PGA Tour through China.

Like most professional golfers, the 27-year-old is keen to get himself on the world's toughest tour, but he's opting for the newest way to get there.

Fox's first priority is this week's New Zealand Open, but then he's going to have a crack at the PGA Tour's China series which, should he play well, would allow him to bypass some of the Web.com Tour's qualification process.

"It's a bit different, but it's just another opportunity," Fox said.

The series will feature 12 tournaments, each with a minimum of $230,000 in prizemoney, a pathway to the Web.com Tour - now the best way to get to the PGA Tour - and official world ranking points which are the eligibility mechanism to participate in the 2016 Olympics.

"I just think it suits me better than a Q-school scenario," he said.

"This way, you're rewarded [for] consistency, but you can still have a bad week. In a qualifying stage, if you have a bad round, you can be all over."

In August last year, Fox was struggling to retain his PGA Tour of Australasia card and was looking like being without a tour to play on. But a massive form turnaround saw him finish fifth in the Australian Masters.

The $45,000 he pocketed moved him up to 27th on the Order of Merit, but more importantly it helped take the pressure off finding a tour to play on.

He currently sits fifth on the 2014 Order of Merit. Fox finished second in the Queensland PGA Championship this month and was only beaten by Anthony Summers who shot blistering rounds of 61, 62, 70 and a final day 63.

So it's with confidence that Fox arrives in Arrowtown. And while most are calling this a positional tournament where accuracy trumps distance, Fox thinks his extra length will still be an advantage.

"It means I can hit higher clubs to get into the positions you want to be in and that brings more control," said Fox, who hits the ball as far as anyone on tour."

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- Fairfax Media

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