IRISH OPEN:  New Zealander Ryan Fox happy to make cut and still see All Blacks play

Ryan Fox of New Zealand lines up a putt on the 18th green during Day 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship
Ryan Fox of New Zealand lines up a putt on the 18th green during Day 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Golf Championship

Some people seem to thrive in Northern Ireland conditions.

Ryan Fox fits into that category. The New Zealander, a winner of last year’s NI Open at Galgorm Castle finished day two at Portstewart in a share of fourth after a second round 66.

“NI has been very good to be me so far,” said the 30-year-old from Auckland.

“I really like both courses. Galgorm Castle last year was fantastic and I think this is even better.

“I guess when you have a golf course you like and it suits your eye you can shoot some good numbers and I have taken advantage of it this week.”

Fox opened the tournament with a five-under par 67 on Thursday and a run of four birdies in his opening nine holes gave him some early momentum.

A bogey at the first, his 10th hole of the day, failed to stall him and he went on to collect three more birdies.

“I have struggled with putting for most of the year and I guess I found the greens pretty easy to read,” added Ryan.

“I think I holed three or four over 30 foot in the first two days and most of my putts inside ten foot and that helps a lot. Obviously, there’s been some good shots in there, as well.”

As a reward, Ryan earned a late tee time on Saturday and will play alongside Jon Rahm at 1.20pm giving him plenty of time to watch the Lions clash with the All-Blacks.

He will have a particular interest in the outcome as his father, Grant, a former All-Black out half is currently a selector for the World Champions.

He added; “Yeah, I’m very happy I get to watch it. I missed out on the last half an hour last week and didn’t see any of the first test.

“I think the Lions might have poked the bear a little bit. The All Blacks are generally pretty good about fronting up after they have been beaten and Eden Park is their fortress.

“I’m hoping for an All Blacks win tomorrow. I might be the only one hoping that but I’ll be wearing my All Blacks jersey for sure and hope they get the job done.”