Ras al Khaimah Classic: Ryan Fox keeps field at bay to score second DP World Tour win

The New Zealander goes wire-to-wire at Al Hamra Golf Club after completing an impressive five-shot victory.

Ryan Fox fired a final-round 3-under-par 69 to cruise to a five-shot victory in the Ras al Khaimah Classic and secure his second DP World Tour trophy with a total of 22-under.

Six in front overnight after taking a firm grip on the tournament with a third-round 65, the New Zealander was slow into his stride on Sunday after opening with three pars and a bogey.

But despite another bogey at 6, he picked up further shots at 8, 12, 13 and 18 to race clear of the field.

England's Ross Fisher came through with a 6-under 66 to finish solo second on 17-under, five shots back, while Germany's Hurly Long (64), South Africa's Zander Lombard (65) and Spain's Pablo Larrazabal (69) were tied third on 16-under.

Fox, son of Kiwi rugby legend Grant, said later: "Probably relief is the main emotion, obviously it was a bit of a struggle today.

"Sleeping on a six shot lead, I didn't sleep very well last night. Obviously a couple of the guys came at me early.

"I was a bit nervous, I had that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach all day but I'm very happy with how I played, a couple of great shots coming down the stretch and it was certainly nice walking down the last with putter in hand with so many putts to win.

"I learned that I'm pretty resilient, obviously there was some bad stuff in there but I just kept plugging away. There were a couple of big momentum putts on the back nine, the one on ten for par and then the one on 12 just kick-started everything and I felt like I played pretty solid the rest of the way in.

"It was going south pretty quickly there and I'm pretty happy I could turn it around and show plenty of mental fortitude there."

"Probably the one on 12 was the turning point. I haven't been a massive fan of that tee shot for two weeks and I got away with one there. Obviously I wasn't aiming there, I pushed it a little bit, but at least I hit it solid.

"I thought I hit a decent second shot, the breeze just didn't really move it left and thankfully the hole got in the way with my putt, to be honest I probably would have had three or four feet coming back but it looked good all the way and that just changed everything, it gave me more of a buffer.

"Obviously 13 and 14 you feel like you have a couple of birdie holes coming home and I managed to birdie 13 which made it a little easier coming down the stretch, but obviously not that easy."

Second win for Fox but also a first

Fox was winning his second DP World Tour title, the first coming in the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth in Australia three years ago.

That was played in a different format so this was his first victory in a regular 72-hole strokeplay event.

"I've got a nervous energy, my old man is the same - he paces around on the phone - and I think I probably walked 25km today with how much I paced around the greens. That's just me and I was definitely thinking about the family coming down the last couple of holes," said Fox.

"It's pretty big for them, they've got to come over to Europe every year and that's a little bit harder with a little one now, and this win makes that a little bit easier for them to do that.

"I'm a bit disappointed I missed (his 14-month-old daughter) Isabel walking for the first time and I've got ten days in a quarantine hotel when I get home to think about that as well, but I'm very much looking forward to seeing them when I get out of the hotel in late February.

"The first couple of days in there I might have a pretty sore head but after that I think it'll feel pretty good with the trophy."

The victory moves him to eighth in the DP World Tour rankings.

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