Friday, 11 August 2017
Ryan Fox  (Getty Images)
Ryan Fox (Getty Images)

Ryan Fox continued his recent excellent form as he fired the lowest round of the week so far on Friday at the US PGA Championship.

The New Zealander was making his debut at the event in just his third Major Championship and his first professional appearance in the United States.

He started the week well as he turned in 34 after starting on the tenth on Thursday but he came home in 41 to seemingly drop out of contention after just 18 holes.

A 66 containing six birdies and a bogey rectified that as Fox carded the lowest Major round by a Kiwi since Grant Waite at this event back in 2001.

"Pretty bloody happy to be honest," he said. "It was a little bit of a change from yesterday. I had a good nine on the back nine yesterday but got away with some errant tee shots. Got my ass kicked on the front nine when I kept hitting it in the rough.

"Managed to keep it in play a lot better today, hit a lot more fairways. I guess length is an asset around here and that's definitely a strong part of my game. It was nice to take advantage of that today and also see a few putts go in on top of that.

"I probably missed four or five putts inside of ten foot as well, including a short one for eagle on seven. Every hole around here, you're just happy to take a par.

"I'm just happy to make it easy coming down the stretch, knowing I'm going to have a tee time on the weekend. I've got nothing to lose. It's my first time playing over here as a pro. I've enjoyed it so far and hopefully I can keep it going tomorrow."

Fox puts part of his success down to having already secured his European Tour card for 2018 after an impressive showing in three Rolex Series events.

He finished sixth at the HNA Open de France and then tied for fourth in consecutive weeks at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Hosted by the Rory Foundation and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

The points gained there have moved him to 21st in the Race to Dubai Rankings presented by Rolex and with his playing privileges safe, he is enjoying his golf in the second half of the season.

"I had my coach come up before the French Open for the week in between Austria and Germany and then for the week of Germany," he said. "We did a good little bit of work there and something sort of clicked in France. I guess it took the pressure off that week, knowing I didn't have too much work to do at the end of the year and I could freewheel it from there.

"The golf game stayed in pretty good shape and mentally being able to freewheel it a bit more, I played really well in Ireland and Scotland, as well.

"I think the Open was maybe one week too many, that was nine out of ten in a row. Nice to come here a little bit fresher."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1THOMAS, JustinUSA18-8
T2MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-6
T2REED, PatrickUSA18-6
T2OOSTHUIZEN, LouisRSA18-6
T5FOWLER, RickieUSA18-5
T5MATSUYAMA, HidekiJPN18-5

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