Ryan Fox will be thinking of former family friend and mentor Martin Crowe when he tees off in the New Zealand Open in Queenstown tomorrow.

The former New Zealand cricket captain passed away last week following a long struggle with Lymphoma and a service is being held in Auckland on Friday.

Crowe was great friends with Fox's father Grant, the former All Blacks 1987 World Cup winning five-eighth, and he mentored Ryan as a young cricketer before supporting him and taking a strong interest in his golfing career.

"I've known Marty pretty much my whole life and he helped me when I was a young cricketer at school and I learned a lot from that," said Fox.


"Unfortunately my head probably kept me out of being a decent batsman but I've got fond memories of playing golf with him and fond memories of being mentored by him and I'll certainly be thinking of him on Friday."

Fox recounted a favourite memory of Crowe from an unhappy afternoon on the golf course, where he unleashed what he describes as "the best shot I ever saw off a putter."

"I played a lot of golf with him when I was an amateur and when he was well and he loved his golf," he said.

"I've got a fond memory of him hitting a putter off the edge of a green when he got a little bit angry, and I think he hit it 150 metres with a two-yard draw.

"Its probably the best shot I even saw off a putter, so I'll certainly remember that, and it was great to see Marty out at a few tournaments when he could.

"He came to the New Zealand PGA last year while he was sick and walked around for a bit. He loved his golf and it was nice to see him enjoying it."

Grant was by his son's side this morning at the practice range at The Hill's golf course but will miss the second day of tournament play while he attends the Auckland service for his old friend.

He remains grateful for the time Crowe shared with Ryan and the influence he had upon him as a sportsman.

"I'm going to head back late tomorrow afternoon and farewell Marty and then come back Saturday morning," he said.

"Marty loved his golf too and took great interest in Ryan, which brought me a lot of pleasure.

"He came to Coolum one year for the Aussie PGA champs and wandered around and, last year, strangely enough, at Remuera, he was walking around following Ryan.

"This time he couldn't do it because he wasn't here sadly. But I'm thinking of him and I know Ryan is too."