Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Ryan Fox 1st Round Leader.

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Ryan Fox of New Zealand is the first round leader at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open being played at Ballyliffin Golf Club and hosted by Rory McIlroy.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Ryan Fox / getty

Ryan carded a first round -5 under par 67 to lead the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open by one shot on the first day, and has his eye on a place at The Open at Carnoustie next week;

“I drove it nice. I think I probably only hit five or six fairways but missed them in the right places and hit a lot of good drives that just ran through fairways and gave myself a lot of chances.”

“I’d love to be in the Open and Carnoustie is one of the best golf courses in the world I think and I’d love the chance to play there in an Open.”

“As good a start as I can have, really, and hopefully three more rounds and if I can sneak in that top five like last year and get an Open spot, that would be great.”

Seven players are then tied in second place at -4 under following their opening rounds of 68, Padraig Harrington, Ireland, Ashley ChestersRobert Rock, Lee Westwood and Danny Willett of England, with   Matthieu Pavon and Adrien Saddier from France.

Padraig always plays better on a links course;

“There’s not often there’s value in my game, my performances always go up a level or two when it comes to a links course.” 

Tournament host Rory signed for -2 under 70, a reasonable start to the competition where he has the extra pressure on his shoulders wanting to play well at his own competition, but had another poor day with the putter.

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