Ryan Fox tied for lead in New Caledonia

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 09:58 28/09/2012

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Rookie Kiwi professional Ryan Fox is in a five-way share of the lead heading into today's third round at the South Pacific Golf Open Championship in New Caledonia this afternoon.

Fox followed up his opening five-under 66 with a solid three-under 68 yesterday to move to eight-under for the PGA Tour of Australasia-sanctioned tournament. He shares that score with Australians Clint Rice, Matthew Griffin and Matthew Guyatt, and local Jean-Louis Guepy.

Fox, the son of former All Black Grant Fox, enjoyed a stellar amateur career before turning pro at the start of this year when he earned his Australasian tour card. He already has three professional wins to his name including two - at the Fiji Open and Tahiti International Open - in the Pacific Islands.

Fellow Kiwi Brad Shilton backed up his opening 67 with a 68 to be one shot back from the lead at seven-under, while Australian Henry Epstein, who was the first round leader after a course record 63 at the Tina Golf Club, dropped back to five-under with a three-over 74.

Meanwhile, Tim Wilkinson made a solid start at the Chiquita Classic on the United States' second-tier tour today, carding a four-under 68 to be just two shots off the lead.

Wilkinson failed to take advantage of the par-fives, parring all four of them, but still carded five birdies in Weddington, North Carolina. He is in a share of 17th, two shots behind a group of six players at six-under.

Danny Lee is tied for 54th, dropping two shots on his way home to sign for a two-under 70.

Wilkinson is 51st on the order of merit and Lee 73rd, with only the top 25 players at season's end qualifying for the PGA Tour next year. A win this week for either player would see them go inside that cut mark with four tournaments remaining after this.

Josh Geary is tied for 76th at one-under while Steve Alker (one-over 73) and Grant Waite (three-over 75) are off the pace.

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- Fairfax Media

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