Ryan Fox secured a maiden European Tour title at the ISPS Handa World Super 6 Perth with a convincing 3&2 triumph over Adrian Otaegui which moved the Kiwi to the cusp of the top 10 of the Race to Dubai Rankings.
The 32 year old finished eight-under-par after 54 holes of strokeplay to earn a bye in the last 16 of the six hole knockout stages where he needed three trips up the Shootout Hole to beat Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Fox then dispatched Norwegian Kristoffer Reitan and Ireland’s Paul Dunne with 1up triumphs before racing into a 3up lead after three holes over Otaegui in the final. The two-time Challenge Tour winner sealed the victory with a half on the fourth to claim his first victory on the European Tour since earning his card in 2017 and jump from 32nd to 11th in the Race to Dubai with 524.1 points.
“I’ve been close a couple of times and it was certainly nice to get one over the line today in a place I hold pretty special,” said Fox.
“There was some scrappy stuff in there but I got out of trouble when I needed to and I played great today in the final. Adrian didn’t quite play to his best this afternoon but I’m quite happy to take advantage of that.”
Dubai-resident Otaegui birdied the 18th on Saturday to make the knockout stages following an 11-man play-off before making light work of Darren Gale, Per Langfors, Min Woo Lee and Scott Vincent to book his place in the final. But it was a step too far for the Spaniard and he was unable to add to his two previous European Tour victories – both of which have come in match play events. With his runner-up finish, Otaegui make significant strides from 127th to 28th in the Race to Dubai Rankings on 263.2 points.
“I’m a little bit disappointed after losing the final but it’s been a good week,” said the 26 year old. “Second is a solid week. I went from low to up during the week, so that’s good as well, that’s a good feeling. I played very good golf the first four games, just nothing went the way I wanted in the end, but I’m still happy.”
Meanwhile, Paul Dunne sealed third spot after overcoming Zimbabwe’s Scott Vincent on the Shootout Hole in the third/fourth play-off match. The Irishman leapfrogs up to 41st from 129th while Vincent moves from 174th to 62nd in the Rankings.
Home favourite Min Woo Lee, who lost out to Otaegui in the quarter final, climbs four places from 29th to 25th on 275.9 points while Belgium’s Thomas Pieters, who Lee overcame in the last 16, moves from 40th to 33rd on 206.8 points.
The top 50 players in the Race to Dubai Rankings will contest the season-ending DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai from November 21-24 where a US$3 million will be up for grabs for the winner, making it the richest prize in world golf.