What was a major dilemma has turned into an easy decision for Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox to play in September's US Golf Open in New York.
Fox has confirmed the PGA Tour has been granted an exemption from US quarantine procedures to allow European Tour players into its bubble. It means Fox won't have to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the US.
"The decision has been made a lot easier," Fox told NZME. "I can fly straight to the US on the Sunday or Monday and get into the US Open bubble and not have to quarantine in the States. Obviously it's a much easier decision to go and I will probably play Portugal (Portugal Masters) the week before that now."
The US Open is being held at Winged Foot in New York and it will be 33-year-old's 10th major. Fox says it will be like no other he's played in.
"It will be very different, a normal tour event still feels strange without fans but every now and again you do get it if you are one of the first groups out. But to turn up in a major and have no fans will have a strange feeling."
The last time the Open was staged at Winged Foot in 2006, Australian Geoff Ogilvy won it with a score of five-over par. Fox says the absence of crowds will likely have an impact on scoring.
"With 50,000 people a day inside the gates they trample down the rough outside the ropes and the odd wayward tee shot you kind of can get away with. But with no one there I think the USGA will be able to grow the rough out as much as they want so it will be a pretty stern test in that regard," Fox said.
Fox has a busy schedule before heading to New York with five events beginning with the Hero Open in Birmingham starting tonight. He will also play next week's English Championship, the Celtic Classic in Wales and the UK Championship before taking a week off before the Portugal Masters ahead of the US Open.
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After spending four months at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, the busy schedule doesn't faze the Kiwi who is relishing the chance to continue his good form.
"Spending a week in my apartment in London by myself is almost worse than being in the tournament bubble here. You have to be really careful being out in the real world here rather than being in the bubble. I would rather just play an extra tournament which is nice and relaxing down in Portugal before heading to the US Open."
Fox is unsure exactly how the travel between bubbles will work out but is confident in the procedures the tours have put in place.
"I am assuming if I have been tested the week before in Portugal as long as I go into the US Open and test negative on arrival I'm fine. It's about trying to be as safe as possible in the airport and stay safe because I don't want to miss out on the opportunity."
The Kiwi is hopeful of building on his top 10 finish at the British Masters this week in Birmingham.
"The course this week is very different. It's flat to start with and is probably a bit of a stronger test of golf, maybe a little bit longer. I have hit driver a bit more this week which hopefully will play into my hands."