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Ryan Fox sets the early pace after round one of the Horizon Irish Open at Mount Juliet.
The New Zealander shot eight birdies in an -8 opening round at Thomastown, Co Kilkenny, and holds the clubhouse lead.
“I’m more surprised, to be honest, than anything else” admitted the opening round leader. “I’ve been fighting it on the range the last couple days after the weekend, and certainly didn’t look like it early in the round. I made a couple of birdies, but I was scrapping away, and then stop and collect on 7, 8, hit a great wedge shot in there and made a few putts as well.”
Discussing his round of -8, the New Zealander stated:
“(My) short game kept me in it early and a couple good up-and-downs. My wedge play was really good. I think I hit it stiff on 7, 8, that tee on 7, 8, 1, and 2, and then kind of the birdies there with a wedge, and on top of that holed a couple of nice putts. So it’s just one of those days where everything went really well and I managed to keep it in the fairway for the most part, which around this golf course, if you’re in the rough, that’s pretty tough out there, which I found sort of through the first six holes.”
Frenchman Frederic Lacroix is a shot behind on -7 after his round of 65. He is tied in second place with German Marcel Schneider, Fabrizio Zanotti of Paraguay, and Spaniard Jorge Campillo.
Tied on six under are Antoine Rozner of France, Englishmen Dale Whitnell, Jordan Smith and Aaron Rai, South African Thriston Lawrenece, and Spain’s Pablo Larrazábal.
Séamas Power and Niall Kearney are the leading Irish players after first round 68s for a -4 score.