It will be a sense of déjà vu for Ryan Fox at Ballyliffin Golf Club on Sunday as he seeks to win his maiden European Tour title in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.
New Zealand’s No.1-ranked golfer is tied for second, four strokes behind South African Erik van Rooyen. It’s the same deficit he faced heading into last year’s final round of the Irish Open where he tied for fourth.
Van Rooyen is at 14-under 202, while Fox and Sweden’s Joakim Lagergren are at 10-under 206. The 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett is outright fourth on nine-under 207. It’s the first time Van Rooyen has held the 54-hole lead on the European Tour.
Fox carded a two-under 70 in Saturday’s third round, which included two birdies in his final three holes. He vowed not to change the approach that elevated him to the top of the leaderboard for the first two rounds.
“Don’t do anything different,” said the 31-year-old. “I’ve taken the golf course on the last three days and it seemed to work.
“It’s going to be very condition-dependent again but if we get a day like this, I’ll be doing what I did – hit driver everywhere and try to hit wedges in and see if I can hole some putts.
“I’ve been lucky, I guess we’ve taken the theory that bogeys aren’t a bad score. I’ve been driving the ball really well and made a couple of bogeys from bad tee-shots but given myself a lot of chances from good tee shots.
“It’s going to take birdies to win it. It’s going to require a decent round of golf and five or six under has been a tough score to get this week so I’ll be trying. We’ll see what happens, I’m not going to change the mindset.”