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Irish Open: New Zealand’s Ryan Fox Surprised To Be Leading After Opening Round At Mount Juliet

Irish Open: New Zealand’s Ryan Fox Surprised To Be Leading After Opening Round At Mount Juliet

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox insisted he was surprised to find himself setting the pace in the Horizon Irish Open, despite his brilliant form this season.

Fox fired eight birdies, including seven in his last 11 holes, to card a flawless opening 64 at Mount Juliet and enjoy a one-shot lead over Frederic Lacroix, Jorge Campillo, Fabrizio Zanotti and Marcel Schneider.

England’s Aaron Rai, Dale Whitnell and Jordan Smith were part of a six-strong group on six under, with Scotland’s David Law and Ewen Ferguson another stroke back.

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Fox, who lost a play-off for the 2018 Irish Open to Scotland’s Russell Knox, won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic in February, finished runner-up in the Soudal Open and Dutch Open and was third in the BMW International on Sunday.

“I’m more surprised, to be honest, than anything else,” the world No 56 said. “I’ve been fighting it on the range the last couple of days and a 64 certainly didn’t look likely early in the round.

“I made a couple of birdies but I was scrapping away and hit a great wedge on my eighth hole (the 17th) and made a few putts as well. So just one of those days that shows how important patience is in a round of golf.

Ryan Fox said 64 'didn't look likely' early on in his round Ryan Fox said 64 'didn't look likely' early on in his round

Ryan Fox said 64 ‘didn’t look likely’ early on in his round

“After six holes I felt like two under would have been a great score. And then the last 10 holes, I felt like I could have shot anything, to be honest.

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“I really like this course, even though it kicked my ass last year. And I feel like if you hit some good shots, you can score and if you hit…

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