Ryan Fox must be wondering when the luck of the Irish will fall his way after finishing just short at the Irish Open for the third time of his career.
Fox, playing in his first tournament since the PGA Tour’s 3M Open in July, held a share of the lead midway through the fourth round but dropped a shot on the penultimate hole to end his chance of another victory on the DP World Tour.
Fox carded a final round 70 at the K Club to finish two shots (12-under) behind Swede Vincent Norrman at 14-under in a share of third. Norrman had the low round of the day with 65 to win his second tournament of the year.
The Kiwi finished runner-up last year behind Adrian Meronk and also in 2018, edged out by Russell Knox. This year he shared third with Grant Forrest (Scotland), Shane Lowry (Ireland), Triston Lawrence (South Africa) and Hurly Long (Germany).
Fox earns $315,000 (NZD$535,000) for his third placed finish.
He missed a birdie chance at the 16th which would have tied the lead, but the ball held up just short of the hole. An errant drive on the par four 17th left him with a tough approach and he clipped a tree leaving his ball well short of the green. He recovered well to land his third on the edge of the green but his par attempt finished short.
Needing an eagle on the par five 18th, Fox’s drive landed in the rough ending any hope of a playoff.
Fellow Kiwi Daniel Hillier finished in a share of 13th at 10-under following a final round 69.
A week after 23-year-old Ludvig Aberg produced a stunning finish to win the European Masters in Switzerland and help secure a spot on Europe’s Ryder Cup team, the 25-year-old Norrman produced a similar late flourish at The K Club to earn his second victory in two months — after the Barbasol Championship in mid-July — and underscore the talent emerging from Sweden.
Play was delayed for about 90 minutes because of bad weather soon after the leading groups teed off, with Rory McIlroy at that stage in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par.
His bid for a second title at his home event, after 2016, tottered when he found water off wedge shots from the middle of the fairway at Nos. 7 and 11. By the time McIlroy went into the water twice at No. 16 in shooting triple-bogey 8, Norrman had already posted a target — 14 under — that none of his remaining title contenders could match.
“I think I was a little lucky — it was a long wait but I am super happy,” said Norrman, who turned pro in 2021 after attending Georgia Southwestern before moving to Florida State University.
“If you are winning, you are doing something good. It’s a world-class event and honestly I can’t believe this happened.”
Next week is the lucrative BMW Championship at Wentworth.