New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox, playing his second season on the European Tour, had a decent enough start in his first event of the season, the Abu Dhabi Championship.
As our Geography abilities are not the keenest, we Googled Abu Dhabi, in order to learn that it is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. When we zoomed out in the map, no amount of imagination could persuade us the Abu Dhabi is in Europe, but such geographical oddities are not rare in the world of sports, and the European Tour is certainly welcome to play golf wherever it desires, be it Europe or Asia.
Where were we?
Yes, we were talking about Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox.
The 30-year-old Aucklander shot a two-under par 70 in the opening round of the tournament, which leaves him in a tie for 37th.
Fox had the sort of round to which we duffers can relate, well, save for the fact that two-under par is a phrase we never utter in connection with our own scores, but Fox had one mistake, a bogey of the fifth hole, before he reeled off three consecutive birdies (another phrase we have never used) and played the last eight holes in even par (more talk we will never use).
Thirty-seventh does not sound all that great, but Fox is just four shots off the pace of Japanese player Hideto Tanihara and England’s Tommy Fleetwood (suggestion to Mr. Fleetwood: have a son and name him Mack), who both fired six-under 66s.
Fox made a strong showing in his previous outing, finishing fourth in the New Zealand Masters in Auckland. Fox has been getting into more events as his play has improved. He teed it up 30 times in 2017 and might have played more, but for a shoulder that proved troublesome to a small degree.