Golf: Fox finishes second in Scotland

Ryan Fox lines up a putt during the final day of the 2016 SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge. Photo / Getty Images
Ryan Fox lines up a putt during the final day of the 2016 SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox has finished second at the latest European Challenge Tour event in Scotland.

Fox has fired a final round seven under par 64 to finish on 19 under for the tournament, two shots behind the winner, England's James Heath.

"I just missed out on BMW international in Germany this week so instead we were in the Scottish Highlands for the SSE Scottish Hydro on the challenge tour," Fox tells NZ Herald.

"It's a great place to play golf and a really fun golf course to play. We had a storm delay during the week and a few drizzly patches but overall very little wind and some sunshine thrown in so a good week weather wise for Scotland.

"I played really solid all week with scores of 65, 66, 70, 64 and had a real shot with two rounds to play.

"The round on Saturday was a little patchy with a couple of bad tee shots and an inconsistent day on the greens costing me a little bit. I really got it going on the last day being 5 under through 13, finally finishing 7 under and outright second.

"It was a good feeling being in contention again and I hit a lot of great shots coming home but the winner James Heath played some great golf for the week."

Fox has had an up and down year so far but feels like he is starting to hit some form.

"The last four weeks I have been steadily improving," he says.

"I had a tough week at Nordea Masters missing the cut by a bit. I got to enjoy a bit of time off in Stockholm on the weekend and it is a great city.

"Then at Lyoness Open in Austria, I had a horror first 9 holes on the Thursday which pretty much put me out of the tournament. I played some nice golf after that to miss the cut by one.

"During the US Open week I dropped back down to challenge tour where I played the Najeti Open. It was the site of my first challenge event last year. I had a top 5 finish last year and had some good memories and a good idea of how to score round the course. It's a very tricky golf course and sometimes a little unfair and weather conditions certainly played their part this year with a few storm delays, and some flooding on course at times.

"I had a slim chance at contending after the third round being 4 or 5 back but unfortunately could only muster even par on the last day to finish in a tie for 7th. It was definitely nice to get a top 10 after a difficult couple of months playing on the main tour.

Fox will now put all his attention on trying to book a place at the year's third major - the Open Championship.

"I now have Open Championship qualifying on Tuesday at Woburn followed by a week off. Then I head to Slovakia for another challenge tour event. There is probably another 8-9 weeks in a row that I won't get into any main tour events so the focus for a while will be on challenge."

- NZ Herald

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