WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Ryan Fox showed the long COVID-19 shutdown had not affected his game by storming to a 13-stroke victory at the Wairakei Invitational as professional golf returned in New Zealand over the weekend.
The world number 131, a regular on the still-suspended European Tour, carded scores of 63, 66 and 63 in his three rounds to finish 24-under-par for the pro-am tournament.
Fox, who won his maiden European Tour title at the World Super 6 in Perth last year, mixed 22 birdies and three eagles with only four bogeys at the Wairakei International Golf Course.
Professional golf in New Zealand had been suspended for more than two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week the country lifted all social and economic restrictions, except border controls, after declaring it was free of the coronavirus.
The European Tour will resume with the British Masters on July 22.
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)