Ryan Fox – file photo Getty images / European Tour

35-year-old New Zealander, Ryan Fox, has extended his opening round lead of two to three at the halfway stage of the US$2 million DP World Tour’s Ras Al Khaimah Classic at the Al Hamra Golf Club, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Fox added a second round of 69 to his opening 63 to move clear of West Australian Jason Scrivener, Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal, South African’s Justin Harding, Zander Lombard and Oliver Bekker and Italy’s Francesco Laporta.

After missing the cut at last week’s Ras Al Khaimah Championship, when plagued by back issues, Fox has bounced back in the best of styles to enjoy a cushion heading into the weekend.

“I struggled with my back last week and I was fighting, everything was crossed over and I didn’t know where I was aiming. I was just pretty much trying to hit the ball to be honest and I was probably quite glad I had a weekend off.

“Had a lot of physio work over the weekend with the tour physios and then with my physio from Tuesday onwards. That loosened everything up and I felt like I could turn through it again, I felt like I could start the ball where I wanted to and from that point it was kind of easy. I felt like I could hit my shot where I wanted to which was a nice place to be.

“It was a bit scrappier than yesterday, I didn’t drive it quite as well, a little sloppy hitting in the water on the last – that doesn’t help – but hit my irons really good and gave myself plenty of chances. I made seven birdies today so hopefully I can just keep it going the next couple of days, but it’s been a lot of fun out there.

“It’s been lovely the last couple of days, I think it was four hours and five minutes on Thursday and four hours and ten this morning so hopefully the pace of play continues like that over the weekend. I played normally and we had two quick guys in our group, it was just nice being one of the first couple of groups out – we just had great conditions this morning as well – and it’s just been an enjoyable couple of days really.”

Fox has made a slow start to the year with a best of 26th in three starts to date but when he finds form, he typically goes on with it so this weekend could well see him contending for his second European Tour title.

Queensland’s Maverick Antcliff and South Australian, Wade Ormsby, are the next best of the Australians after Scrivener at 7 under and five shots from Fox’s lead.


Fox’s Thursday interview