Only one thing will stop Ryan Fox and Danny Lee once again joining forces to represent New Zealand at the World Cup of Golf in November; the impending arrival of Lee’s first child.
As New Zealand’s highest-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Rankings, Fox has extended to Lee the same courtesy he was shown two years at Kingston Heath where the pair teamed up to finished tied for 11th, 10 shots behind eventual winners Denmark.
Currently ranked 79 in the world and 11 in the Race to Dubai rankings on the European Tour, Fox sits 45 spots ahead of Lee in the rankings and had no hesitation in selecting the 28-year-old to join him at Metropolitan Golf Club from November 21.
“I’ve picked Danny and he’s said that he wants to play which is great,” Fox told New Zealand Golf Digest.
“He does have a baby due in October so things may change for him in that regard but he picked me a couple of years ago and it was nice to return the favour this year.”
If Lee was to withdraw Michael Hendry (292) and Ben Campbell (297) are the next two Kiwis in the world rankings but Fox might be tempted to select in-form rookie Nick Voke.
In his maiden year as a professional, Voke recorded the first win of his career on the PGA Tour-China tour last week and has climbed from 1,925nd at the end of 2017 to be now ranked 575 in the world.
When Fox and Lee last represented the Kiwis Lee was ranked No.64 in the world and Fox No.135 and as Fox has enjoyed his best year on the European Tour, Lee’s PGA Tour season has seen its highs and lows.
Winner of The Greenbrier Classic three years ago, Lee was tied for seventh at The Players Championship in May but in a six-event stretch missed four cuts, was disqualified in another and finished tied for 15th at the Travelers Championship.
A tie for sixth at the RBC Canadian Open helped to propel him into the second week of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and instil plenty of confidence in his World Cup teammate.
“Obviously he played some great golf at the end of the year,” Fox said.
“He had a tough run of it through the middle of the year but it was good to see him playing well and I’m looking forward to teaming up with him again.”
New Zealand has never won the World Cup of Golf, their best result coming in 2001 when Michael Campbell and David Smail finished tied for second behind the South African team of Ernie Els and Retief Goosen in Japan.