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Fox leads early at The Masters, four back

Ryan Fox The Masters golf
Ryan Fox led early in the first round at The Masters before a couple of late blemishes. PHOTO: PGA TOUR

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox had a flurry of birdies on his front-nine to hold an early lead in just his second appearance at The Masters.

However, Fox stuttered late in the first round at August National on Thursday (Friday NZ Time) to sit in a tie for sixth at three-under, four shots behind clubhouse leader, LIV Tour player Bryson DeChambeau.

Fox made a bright start surging to a two-stroke lead after his first nine holes after rain had delayed the start of play by two hours and then eventually darkness stopped play with 27 golfers still to complete their first rounds.

The 37-year-old birdied the first three holes to join DeChambeau, who did likewise, and South African Erik van Rooyen in the lead at three-under. He hit the front with an eagle at the par-five eighth.

The back-nine was not as favourable, with the world No 54 bogeying the par-five 13th and par-three 16th to finish with a three-under 69.

The first round was a real reversal of form for Fox, whose world ranking has dropped outside the top-50 in recent weeks following a string of below-par results on the PGA Tour, making just three cuts in eight starts.

Fox, playing with Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American Chris Kirk, will tee off his second round on Friday at 12.24pm local time (4.24am Saturday NZT).


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