Pressure just par for the course for Fox

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012
Ryan Fox
IAIN MCGREGOR/FAIRFAX NZ
QUIET TIME: Ryan Fox, seated, gathers his thoughts in the locker room ahead of the New Zealand Open starting tomorrow at Clearwater.

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Ryan Fox has always had pressure heaped on him during his golfing life.

Being the son of All Blacks legend Grant Fox will do that, as will an impressive amateur career.

So the 25-year-old has no problems being considered one of the players to watch at the New Zealand Open that starts tomorrow at Clearwater.

In his first 12 months as a professional, Fox has gone from strength to strength.

His ball striking has been impressive and his huge length off the tee is an obvious advantage.

Fox jokes that it doesn't matter how far you hit it if it's not straight, but he has serious talent and a game that can take him a long way.

Despite a general lack of experience when compared to several other Kiwis in the field, Fox has been mentioned as a title chance at Clearwater.

None of that shows on his face; he's as cool as you like.

"In some ways this is just another week," he said.

"Sure, it's the New Zealand Open - my first as a professional - and it's a tournament I've always dreamed of winning, but you still do all the same things, maybe a bit more media, but that's it, really."

He's pleased with his game and, coming off a 14th equal finish at the Australian Masters on Sunday in Melbourne, has every reason to be.

"It wasn't great in the first two rounds to be honest," he said. "But I got through then started hitting the ball a lot better on the weekend and hopefully I can bring that here this week.

"I'm still pretty inexperienced compared to a lot of these guys and I still make the odd dumb mistake, but hopefully that's coming out of my game, especially here, especially this week."

Fox made the cut last year at Clearwater, but battled to keep the ball on the hard greens. They're much softer this time around and that should help him.

He also hopes the wind blows, saying that could separate the men from the boys.

"There's obviously quite a few guys that can win this tournament, but the more it blows, the harder it gets and I think that plays into the hands of guys that are playing better and hitting the ball better."

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