RIO Olympian Ryan Fox will have the world’s most successful caddy, Steve Williams, on his bag for next month’s 93rd ISPS Handa New Zealand Open.
What’s more, he will have some sporting power alongside him with his father and All Blacks legend, Grant Fox, paired for the Pro-Am competition which is part of the Open at Millbrook Resort and The Hills in Queenstown on 9-12 March.
The job will be a one off for Williams as Fox has a full time caddy for his foray on to the European Tour this year but he won’t be travelling to New Zealand after two tournaments in his native South Africa.
The pair will link up again when Fox returns to their European base leaving an opportunity to work with Williams for this one off event.
Fox, who will play his first full season in Europe in 2017, is excited about having Williams on his bag.
“Steve is the best caddy in the world having worked with greats like Greg Norman, he was 10 years with Tiger Woods and then with Adam Scott and got him to world number one,” said Fox.
“My caddy is pretty excited about me working with Steve and hopefully I learn a bit from him and bring that to our relationship going down the line.”
Williams has supported Fox on his professional journey, giving him advice and sorting a practice round with Adam Scott at the 2015 British Open.
His professional life in Europe and his penchant for fishing when he is back home means Fox has not had much time to play golf with his father.
“It should be fun,” he said. “I’m not sure how we will handle playing with a few people watching but I am sure he will enjoy the overall experience.
“Hopefully I can play well and we can both play the weekend.”
The tournament hosts 144 amateur players, each partnering with a professional in a two-person best-ball event, competing for the ISPS Handa NZ Pro-Am Championship which runs alongside the Open.
The leading 10 teams earn a spot amongst the professionals over the final 36 holes.
Fox, who has made the cut in his first four tournaments on the European Tour, competes in the ISPS Handa Super 6 in Perth next week and two tournaments in South Africa before a speedy return to Queenstown.
“Unfortunately I may have a bit of jet lag at the start of the week but hopefully we can combat that and be in contention come Sunday afternoon,” he said.
Fox said after 14 years without a local triumph it was time for a Kiwi to win the New Zealand Open title and he would love nothing more than to have his name etched on the Brodie Breeze Trophy.
The ISPS Handa New Zealand Open is a NZ$1 million Tier One event on the PGA Tour of Australasia, in partnership with the Japan Golf Tour and Asian Tour, to be played in Queenstown at Millbrook Resort and The Hills on 9-12 March.
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