9 Mar 2016

Fox keeping a low profile ahead of round one

4:47 pm on 9 March 2016

Ryan Fox is playing down the favourites tag heading into the New Zealand Open starting in Queenstown tomorrow.

New Zealand's Ryan Fox during the second round of the British Open, 2015.

New Zealand's Ryan Fox during the second round of the British Open, 2015. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fox is the highest ranked player in the field and finished in a tie for fourth at the NZPGA in Auckland last week but he said that doesn't mean much.

The tournament will be played at the Millbrook and Hills courses.

"I am playing with Daniel Chopra and he is a two time PGA TOUR winner."

"There are also quite a lot of the Japanese guys down here and they are an unknown quantity for us. But they have played for years on Tour in Japan and are proven winners."

"It's good to have such a good field down here, but it would be nice for one the Kiwis to have our name on the trophy at the end of the week."

According to Fox, The Hills and Millbrook Resort will even out the playing field and the person who emerges victorious on Sunday will need to have played top quality golf.

"The good thing about the golf courses around here is that there have been short hitters and long hitters win so it's a good test of a golf course in that regard," added Fox.

"I think The Hills gives you a few more opportunities, especially on the back-9. If you are really on, on the back-9, there are a lot of slopes you can use to get the ball close to the hole and give yourself a lot of really short birdie chances. But then again if you're just off it will penalise you quite a lot."

"Millbrook can trip you up a bit because we haven't played it as much as we have The Hills. It's always nice to get a good round there, you can put yourself in a good position if you get it going."

Renowned as a long hitter Fox believes some of the strengths of his game will be mitigated on the layouts this week despite carrying form from the NZ PGA Championship.

"I don't hit driver as much out here so it doesn't play to my strengths. I get to hit a little less club off some of the tees compared to some of the others guys so I guess that's an advantage," added Fox.

"The NZ PGA was a great build up. It was nice to put a couple of good scores on the board and feel like I was in contention come Sunday afternoon."

"I'll just try to keep doing that this week."