Auckland golfer Ryan Fox has won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
He shot a three-under final round to finish 22 under and five shots ahead of England’s Ross Fisher.
The 35-year-old earns just over half a million dollars for the win.
This is the second time Fox has won the European Tour following his success at the 2019 World Super 6 in Perth, while he also won the European Challenge Tour twice.
Fox led from the first round and is the second wire-to-wire winner of the season. The last Kiwi to achieve the feat was Michael Campbell at the 2000 Johnnie Walker Classic, played in November 1999.
“It was a little tough today,” said the two-time Olympian who now enters the top 10 of the tour standings. “Sleeping with a six-shot lead, I didn’t sleep very well last night and obviously a few guys came to see me early.
“I was a little nervous and had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomach all day, but I’m very happy with the way I played. I hit a few good shots down the stretch and it was certainly nice to come up last with my putter in my hand knowing I had six putts for that.”
Fox’s daughter Isabel was born in December 2020 and the 35-year-old couldn’t wait to get home and see her – after spending ten days in hotel quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I was really thinking about the family coming down the last two holes, it’s big enough for them,” he added. “They have to come to Europe every year and it’s a bit more difficult with a little bit now and this win makes it a bit easier for them.
“I’m a bit disappointed that I missed them walking and I have ten days in a hotel when I get home to think about them too and I can’t wait to see them when I go out at the end of February.”
Fellow New Zealander Daniel Hillier finished third in the European Challenger tournament in South Africa.