Monday, 27 July 2015
Ryan and Grant Fox  (Getty Images)
Ryan and Grant Fox (Getty Images)

Ryan Fox’s maiden European Challenge Tour victory at Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge got us thinking about how many other examples we could find of golfers with different sporting talents in their families.

Here is what we came up with, hopefully with some unexpected inclusions – let us know any others we may have missed:


1.       Ryan and Grant Fox

The obvious place to start, but quite a benchmark to establish. Ryan has immediately enjoyed life on the Challenge Tour, finishing in the top ten of three of his four events so far, including his win in France.

In the middle of this run he found time to earn a place at The Open Championship via Final Qualifying, playing with Bernhard Langer in the final round at St Andrews as a fine 67 earned him a top 50 finish in his first Major Championship.

His father Grant is a rugby union legend, having worn the All Blacks fly-half jersey 46 times in the 1980s and 1990s, scoring 645 points.

Most notable was his performance in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 where his 126 points in the tournament – still an all-time record – helped New Zealand to victory on home soil, Fox kicking 17 points in the 29-9 final win over France.


2.       Byeong-hun An and his table tennis parents

Byeong-hun An is one of the great recent Challenge Tour success stories, already one of the leading lights on The European Tour after graduating from the Challenge Tour last year.

An is currently seventh in The Race to Dubai after an outstanding debut season, with victory at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth a clear highlight.

What may be less known is the sporting pedigree of his parents, who both won medals in table tennis at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul.

His mother Jiao Zhimin claimed bronze in the women’s singles and silver in the women’s doubles for China while his father Ahn Jae-hyung won bronze in the men’s doubles for South Korea.


3.       Jeev Milkha Singh and ‘The Flying Sikh’

Jeev, the most successful Indian golfer ever, with four victories on The European Tour, actually has a double sporting pedigree since his mother was the Indian women’s volleyball team captain.

However it is his father, Milkha Singh, who enjoyed the more prominent sporting career as a sprinter, winning numerous medals and competing at two Olympic Games.

Nicknamed The Flying Sikh, Singh was India’s first gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games when he won the 400m in 1958 in Cardiff.

He came fourth in the 400m final of the 1960 Olympics, having also raced in the 1956 Games, and led the race for the first 200m before fading. A Bollywood film of his life was made in 2013.


4.       Simon and Terry Dyson

Simon is a six-time European Tour winner since he turned professional in 1999, particularly enjoying the KLM Open where he has won three times and finished runner-up last year.

Sporting pedigree runs in the Dyson family as his grandfather was a successful jockey, but it is his footballer uncle Terry who is better remembered, playing as he did for Tottenham Hotspur’s double-winning side from 1961.

Terry was a winger and scored in the FA Cup Final that season, with other notable achievements including being the only Spurs player to score a hat-trick in the North London derby and scoring twice in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final victory over Atlético Madrid in 1963.


5.       Nicolas Colsaerts and his multi-talented great-grandfather

Nicolas is another Challenge Tour alumnus who has gone on to great things, winning twice on The European Tour and representing Europe in their 2012 Ryder Cup triumph at Medinah.

His great-grandfather Jean Jacques, however, may just overshadow him, the Belgian competing at his home Olympics in Antwerp in 1920 in not one but two different sports, taking part in both water polo and basketball.


6.       Espen Kofstad and his skiing mother

Espen was the great Challenge Tour success of 2012, triumphing in the Apulia San Domenica Grand Final to earn a place on The European Tour.

The Norwegian was a late starter, only discovering his love for golf when he was 20, but his career could have gone down an entirely different piste long before that had he followed his mother down the mountain and tried to emulate her success as a European skiing champion from the 1970s.

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