New Zealand’s Ryan Fox is enjoying a career year thanks to strong results in his first full season on the European Tour and teeing it up in two of the four Majors in 2017.
The big hitting Kiwi has been a strong supporter of the Fiji International and given the close proximity to his homeland, Fox is happy to be back at Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course.
“I’ve got some pretty decent history around here, I love coming back to Natadola and love coming back to Fiji, and hopefully it treats me well again this year,” said Fox, who flew in overnight from the PGA Championship, his first professional tournament on U.S. soil.
“It was awesome, my first professional tournament in the U.S. outside of Q-School, for that to be a Major.
“To have a very slim chance on the last day it was a great week, unfortunately I didn’t quite finish off the way I would’ve like but it was still a great experience.”
Fox set a course record at Quail Hollow early in the second round of the PGA Championship and was the leading Australasian heading in to the final round.
A disappointing Sunday left a stale taste in Fox’s mouth and he’s wasting no time in righting the wrongs, tackling the newly re-designed Natadola Bay layout a priority in today’s pro-am.
“I struggled a bit in that last round and this golf course is probably not quite as tough as last week but it’s still a pretty strong test of golf especially if the breeze gets up.
“I’ve probably got a little bit of work in the pro-am to do today to figure out what happened in my last round and probably get rid of a little bit of jetlag as quickly as possible.”
It will be Fox’s first look at the changes made by three-time Major Champion Vijay Singh, the New Zealander has enjoyed solid results on the old course including a T3 finish in 2015.
“I’ve heard from the guys just since I got here this morning that everyone thinks the changes have been fantastic,” Fox said.
“It doesn’t matter so much for us (as Pros), I always enjoyed the golf course as it was, and it was just a really strong test.
“But as a resort golf course they need lots of golfers to play here and it was a probably a little bit unfair for them to play, so I think the changes will be good for that and I look forward to seeing the changes for myself.”
With the Fiji International this year tri-sanctioned by the ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia, Asian Tour and European Tour, on which Fox is competing this year, it presents the perfect opportunity to continue to climb the Race to Dubai rankings where currently sits 21st.
Fox admits he was disappointed with the start to his European Tour season but has recently hit his stride with strong finishes.
“The first half was a little frustrating, I probably played some better golf than what I scored and I had a couple of bad Sundays or bad weekends, missed a couple of cuts by one, that’s always frustrating as a golfer.
“Then at the French Open I finished sixth there and that sort of took the pressure off for the rest of the year.
“I managed to keep playing pretty well and got pretty high on the money list and got a couple of Majors out of that and I’ve still got 10 or 12 events to look forward to for the rest of the year.
“Hopefully I can continue the good run of form for that but regardless of what happens it’s been an awesome first year in Europe.”
Ryan Fox tees off Thursday at 7:15am alongside Dimitrios Papadatos and Vijay Singh.
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