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Five things to know: Ryan Fox

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Need to Know


    Written by Kevin Prise @PGATOURKevin

    Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 11 following the first round of the Masters Tournament.

    New Zealand’s Ryan Fox is highly regarded across the world of professional golf.

    This week, the greater world might get to know him, too.

    Fox stormed into the early Masters lead with an opening nine of 5-under 31 at Augusta National Golf Club, in his second Masters start after finishing T26 a year ago. Fox qualified for this year’s Masters via the top 50 on the 2023 year-end Official World Golf Ranking.

    Fox, 37, began the week with just three made cuts in eight TOUR starts this season, no finish better than T35, but he’s having little trouble so far at Augusta National.

    Here are five things to know about Fox.

    1. His dad is a rugby legend.

    Fox is the son of Grant Fox, a member of the famed All Blacks team that won the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. That year, Grant Fox set the world record for most points scored in a Rugby World Cup tournament. It doesn’t stop there, as Fox’s grandpa Merv Wallace (his mom’s dad) was a renowned cricketer on the New Zealand national team, described by one obituary as “one of the best batsmen New Zealand has ever produced,” per CNN.

    2. Golf wasn’t his first love.

    As per family heritage, cricket and rugby were Fox’s first sports as a young New Zealander, although he enjoyed hitting golf balls around the backyard as an elementary schooler. His grandpa Merv Wallace crafted his first set of clubs from wood, and he steadily fell in love with the sport through his teenage years. “I’d always wanted to be a professional sportsman,” Fox told CNN. “It just took a fair while to figure out what sport it was going to be.”

    3. He’s a two-time Olympian.

    Fox represented New Zealand in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Men’s Golf Competition, joining his dad and grandpa in representing their home country in international sporting competition. “It was a pretty cool achievement … I think Dad was pretty chuffed when he could say that,” Fox told PGATOUR.COM. He hopes to make it a third straight Olympics, with this year’s golf competition to be played at Le Golf National, a regular French Open venue where he has competed several times.

    4. He earned dual PGA TOUR membership via the DP World Tour

    Fox has achieved great success across the globe, including four DP World Tour titles and three on the PGA Tour of Australasia, but this is his first season as a PGA TOUR member. He earned his card via the 2023 DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, as No. 2 on the season-long standings (not otherwise exempt on TOUR).

    5. He’s a family man.

    Fox and wife Anneke have two daughters, Isobel and Margot, and the Foxes enjoyed family time at Wednesday’s Masters Par 3 Contest. They weren’t on hand for his Masters debut last year (when Fox’s dad caddied in the Par 3 Contest), making this year even more special.

    Kevin Prise is an associate editor for the PGA TOUR. He is on a lifelong quest to break 80 on a course that exceeds 6,000 yards and to see the Buffalo Bills win a Super Bowl. Follow Kevin Prise on Twitter.

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