Fox continues winning form in the Pacific
Ryan Fox clearly has a liking for playing golf in the Pacific Islands, or at least he will now.
A month after winning the Fiji Open, the fledgling New Zealand professional has claimed his third victory in the pay-for-play ranks this year by winning the Tahiti International Open today.
The 25-year-old son of former All Black Grant Fox shot the lights out with a 10-under par 62 in the third round before closing out victory today with a final round 68 at the Atimaono Golf Club.
He finished at 23-under par for the tournament following rounds of 66, 69, 62 and 68, earning a one-shot victory over veteran Australian Terry Pilkadaris, who also closed with a 68 to finish at 22-under. Vaita Guillaume was third, a further shot back.
''It is awesome to win again especially against a player of Terry Pilkadaris' quality,'' said Fox, who notched a remarkable 31 birdies and an eagle over the four rounds.
''He came hard at me and put a lot of pressure on and I was good enough to withstand that and come home for the win which was really pleasing.''
It's easily Fox's biggest payday since turning pro at the start of the year; he'll collect 18,167 euro ($NZ28,000) for his week's work, whereas his breakthrough international win in Fiji last month earned him about $4000.
The big-hitting Aucklander had a stellar amateur career and was ranked New Zealand No 1 when he turned pro at the end of last year after earning membership to the PGA Tour of Australasia.
Since then, he's won the two events in the Pacific, as well as a pro-am event in New Zealand.
''It is all about a huge confidence wave I am riding - especially with the driver,'' he said.
''I am hitting it really well and this week I managed to hit some really nice wedge shots and the putter has been going great all year. So they are all feeding off each other really and winning breeds confidence which is putting me in the position to win again.
''I am really enjoying professional golf and to be honest it doesn't feel too different to when I was playing as an amateur. I have to thank New Zealand Golf for that. The international experience they gave me in the past few years has put me in this position where I feel comfortable competing in international events.''
His ultimate aim is to be playing on the PGA Tour in the US, and he plans to put his earnings this week toward a crack at q-school later this year.
- © Fairfax NZ News