Fox earns more than $1 million for second in Irish Open
Ryan Fox may have narrowly missed out on a first European Tour title in the Irish Open but there were two consolations to ease the frustration.
The Auckland golfer had an eight-foot putt on the 18th green at Ballyliffin Golf Club last month that would have handed him victory in the fourth Rolex Series event of the season but he agonisingly saw it slip by on the high side of the hole.
That saw Fox and Scottish golfer Russell Knox tied for the lead at the conclusion of the regulation four rounds and they headed back out to the 18th hole for a playoff to determine a winner.
Fox had the advantage after their second shots. Fox was about eight feet from the hole while Knox was about 40 feet away.
But oddly enough Knox was in a very similar position to the 40-foot putt he had holed to tie Fox for the lead at the end of 72 holes. And, amazingly, with that prior knowledge, Knox sunk the putt again.
Fox still had a very good chance to extend the playoff. But it wasn’t to be. Fox’s putt ringed the hole and did not drop.
Fox would have felt robbed. But the good news was that his second placing gained him a start in the British Open two weeks later and that he earned a very healthy prize.
The Irish Open is one of the richer events on the European Tour with total prizemoney of $US7 million and Fox earned the equivalent of $NZ1.14 million.
Fox, 31, was pleased to seal his passage to The Open Championship at Carnoustie, the season’s third major championship. He had done the same 12 months previously at the Irish Open when he finished in a tie for fourth.
“I really enjoy playing in The Open and Carnoustie is one of the best courses in the world,” Fox said.
“I’m excited to get there and a little bit nervous to see how it plays but I’m very much looking forward to it.
“It’s always nice to play links golf in the run up to an Open and I love the challenge of it. The rough might be a bit more difficult than here so we’ll see what the conditions are like when we get to Carnoustie.”