Fox into top ten on Australasia order of merit

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 10:21 03/12/2012
Ryan Fox
IAIN MCGREGOR/Fairfax NZ
TOP TEN: His performance at the NSW PGA Championship has seen Ryan Fox crack the top ten of Australasia's order of merit.

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Ryan Fox is the fourth New Zealand golfer to break into the top-10 on the PGA Tour of Australasia's order of merit after finishing in a two-way tie for fourth at the $100,000 New South Wales PGA Championship.

Fox had rounds of 67, 70, 71, and 70 to finish at 10-under 278, five shots behind New South Welshman Matt Stieger, and collect $A4550 for his week's work at the Mt Broughton Golf and Country Club.

That takes the rookie Auckland professional to No 9 on the order of merit with $47,081 from eight tournaments, still well behind compatriot Michael Hendry who, with $206,833 from seven events, leads from Australia's world No 5 Adam Scott, whose $180,000 came from his victory at the Australian Masters last month.

Kiwi Mark Brown is third with $141,287 while fellow Wellingtonian Gareth Paddison occupies sixth spot, with $81,979.

All four players will be among the field for the much higher profile $1.25 million Australian Open at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney, starting Thursday, where Scott, world No 5 Justin Rose, and eight-time major champion Tom Watson are among the headline names.

Also in the field at The Lakes is 19-year-old New Zealand Open champion Jake Higginbottom, who finished tied for 18th at the NSW championship and collected his first pay cheque as a professional, a mere $1190.

The Australian turned pro after victory at Clearwater eight days ago, when his amateur status prevented him from claiming the $80,000 winner's cheque.

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