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Ryan Fox clinches Alfred Dunhill Links Championship glory

Ryan Fox clinches Alfred Dunhill Links Championship glory

Ryan Fox secured a memorable victory in front of his family at St Andrews, firing a closing 68 on the Old Course to win the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship by a single shot.


Fox began the day four shots behind but needed just seven holes of Sunday's fourth round to take the outright lead before a combination of magnificent approach play and brilliance on the greens helped the 35-year-old extend his advantage to three strokes with three to play.

He suffered a late scare at the 17th but managed to limit the damage to just one dropped shot before safely parring the last to claim his second DP World Tour title of the 2022 campaign and third in all.

Fox finished the tournament on 15 under par after carding seven birdies and three bogeys, one shot clear of Callum Shinkwin and Alex Noren.

The New Zealander's parents - Rugby World Cup winner Grant Fox and Adele - are over in Europe for a month but he did not have much luck during the first few weeks of their stay, with injury and lost clubs affecting him in that time.

However, he managed to clinch victory in front of them at St Andrews on Sunday, before turning his thoughts to former amateur team-mate and Australian cricket great Shane Warne, who died in March.

Fox, who alongside Warne had finished second at this event last year in the team contest, said: "It means a lot. To be honest the only person I can really think of at the moment is Warne.

"He meant a lot to me and this event and was a great mate. It's a terrible shame he's not here.

"I'm going to enjoy celebrating this one with the family."

When asked whether he felt Warne's presence out on course, Fox added: "Yeah, there was definitely some luck out there.

"Obviously I was pretty nervy the last three holes. I didn't hit very good shots, to be honest, down the 16th, 17th and 18th. He was definitely helping out."

Fox opened his birdie account at the third on Sunday, holing from 26 feet to move to 12 under.

A five-foot birdie putt at the fifth earned him a share of the lead alongside overnight leader Richard Mansell, and he led on his own courtesy of his third birdie of the day at the seventh, drilling his low approach shot to four feet before knocking in the putt.

Fox dropped a shot on the par-three eighth but bounced back in style, slotting in his 15-foot birdie try on the ninth to head to the turn with a one-stroke lead ahead of Mansell and the charging Rory McIlroy.

Birdies from around eight feet at the tenth and 12th stretched Fox's lead to three shots as some wonderful approach play helped him take command of the tournament.

A bogey at the 13th reduced Fox's advantage to two but he holed a monster birdie putt from more than 50 feet on the 15th green to regain his three-shot lead.

After finding the thick rough off the tee at the 17th, Fox managed to get back on the fairway with his second shot but a disappointing chip left him with a 75-foot par putt.

He knocked that to within four feet and was able to drop just one shot, with his lead now down to one.

But a straightforward par at the last sealed a victory which sees him soar up to third on the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex.

Speaking about the possibility of challenging for the Harry Vardon Trophy this year, Fox, who also won the Ras al Khaimah Classic in February, added: "I guess after the good run I had in the middle of the year, that was always the goal, to give myself a chance going into Dubai.

"It's pretty cool to have that. Obviously a couple of pretty good players on that Rankings list, so I'll have to do something even more special to get ahead of those guys but just to be in the mix is pretty good."

McIlroy finished in a tie for fourth on 13 under alongside Frenchman Antoine Rozner.

Shinkwin and Alex Acquavella won the team event by three shots on 37 under par.

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