Fox successfully defends Tahiti Open title

27-year-old Ryan Fox has made a successful defence of his Tahiti Open title with a hard fought one shot victory over fellow New Zealander Kieran Muir.

Fox fired a final round three-under-par 69 to finish the championship at 20-under-par (268) but early on, things weren’t looking bright for the burly Kiwi after his three-shot lead at the beginning of the day was quickly eroded by three early bogeys.

Ryan Fox Ryan Fox (Credit: Anthony Powter)

Muir on the other hand, started brilliantly with four birdies on his front nine and further birdies at the final holes to post a seven-under-par 65 for outright second.

Fox battled back from his disappointing start with two birdies on his back nine and successfully two-putted the final green from long range to claim victory in the 30th staging of the Tahiti Open, part of the Choice Hotels PGA Pro-Am Series.

“I knew it was pretty close coming up the last but knew that a par would win it and that is just what I managed to do” said Fox. “I played well all week and absolutely love coming to Tahiti.”

“It is one of the best events we play all year and I am thrilled to win this event again.”

Fox earned a little over $21,500 for the win and had been a strong favourite heading into this week.

He also shot 20-under a little over a month ago to win on the Charles Tour in New Zealand and backed that up with a top-ten finish at OneAsia’s Maekyung Open in Korea shortly after.

Sydney’s Ed Stedman carded the low round of the tournament with a final round nine-under-par 63 to finish in solo third at 18-under, the highest placed of the large Australian contingent.