Links season is generally when Ryan Fox comes to life and the Kiwi bomber arrives at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with redemption on his mind.
The spectacular Lahinch Golf Club plays host to Ireland’s national open for the first time with players well aware that the Irish beauty could very quickly become a beast dependent on the weather.
The weather forecast suggests that Mother Nature will be relatively kind to those teeing it up with Fox hoping to go one better than 12 months ago at Ballyliffin Golf Club.
Successive 40-foot bombs on the 18th green first in regulation and then in the playoff earned Russell Knox the title and denied Fox his first in heartbreaking fashion.
Fox has since gone on to claim his first European Tour title at the tri-sanctioned ISPS HANDA World Super 6 Perth tournament in February but would love to start a three-week stretch of links golf – culminating with The Open Championship at Royal Portrush – in positive fashion.
Two years ago he was tied for fourth at both the Irish and Scottish Opens and followed up his runner-up result in Ireland last year with a tie for sixth at the Scottish Open.
It’s why despite coming in with four straight missed cuts he is excited about the month ahead, beginning his links campaign paired with Thomas Pieters and Rafa Cabrera Bello.
“Another brilliant links course here in Ireland, with some spectacular views,” Fox said in a post on Instagram.
“Great when the sun is shining and hopefully that continues this week otherwise it could get brutal!”
South Australian Wade Ormsby has the honour of leading the field out from 3.45pm Thursday AEST alongside Nino Bertasio and Vic Open winner David Law with Jason Scrivener to play the first two rounds with Maximillian Kiefer and Sanghyun Park.
Jake McLeod’s PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit win secured the Queenslander a start along with Scott Hend, Sam Brazel and Lucas Herbert.
There is a strong Aussie presence on the Challenge Tour this week as well with regulars Ben Eccles and Jordan Zunic joined by Jack Munro, Dimi Papadatos and New Zealand’s Josh Geart at the D+D REAL Slovakia Challenge at the Penati Golf Resort in Slovakia.
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