Ryan Fox claimed his first European Tour win when he was the last man standing in the $1.1 million ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth.
Fox, a 32-year-old New Zealand native, defeated Spain’s Adrian Otaegui 3&2 in the six-hole final to claim the $184,000 first-place check. Otaegui earned $122,500.
Fox finished on 8-under par in 54-hole qualifying to earn a bye into the second round of the six-hole match play contests. He needed three trips to the shootout hole to see off Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond in the second round before claiming 1-hole victories over Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan and Ireland’s Paul Dunne.
Fox didn’t have to work too hard to overcome Otaegui. He won the first three holes to establish a three-hole lead. A par at the fourth brought the tournament to a swift conclusion.
“I just felt really calm,” Fox said. “Adrian helped me out on a couple of holes, but I felt really in control of things out there. It was nice to hole a couple of putts that mattered and I guess that makes it feel easy in the end.
“I always enjoyed match play as an amateur. I had a pretty decent record playing for Auckland in the Inter-provincial, and I grew up playing team sports, so you just get used to trying to beat someone and I quite like that. It’s different than trying to beat the golf course.
“Wasn’t too hard a switch in the end (from stroke play to match play). I guess it’s nice having the added bonus if you hit a bad shot, you’re only losing a hole. Although losing a hole in a six-hole match is a little harder than an 18-hole match. It’s a little bit of a freer format.
Otaegui was seeking his second European Tour win following the 2017 Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play.
“Obviously a little bit disappointed after losing the final, but it’s been a good week,” the 26 year old said. “Second is a solid week.”