Ryan Fox has carded a final round 8-under par 64 to win the Autex Muriwai Open by three shots ahead of Daniel Hiller and secured a rare Jennian Homes Charles Tour back to back after winning last weeks event at Gulf Harbour.
Fox started the day two shots behind Hillier and began his final round in style with an eagle at the second to keep pace with the overnight leader while Hillier started equally well, with a pair of birdies of his own.
Fox then made bogey at the third to fall three shots back but kicked himself into gear with three more birdies on the first nine at Muriwai Golf Club on the 6th, 7th, and 9th holes to trail Hillier by one with nine holes to go.
There were several key moments on the second nine which Fox managed to take advantage of, the first being a birdie at the 10th to catch Hillier and then again at the 12th where the momentum appeared to switch to Fox’s favour.
The European Tour player made birdie while Hillier could only manage a bogey. Fox took the tournament in his grasp with a three-shot swing on the 15th with a birdie to Hillier’s double bogey after he lost a ball in the left trees, and Fox would never look back.
He made further birdies at the 16th and 17th holes to get to 10-under for the day and have the course record in his sights.
Fox’s tee shot on the final hole drifted right and got stuck up a tree, but a double-bogey at the last was good enough to win the tournament by three over Hillier.
Despite the annoying finish, Fox saved his best golf till last for the second week in a row.
“I hit it the best I’ve hit it all week today,” Fox said after the victory was sealed.
“I had the ball on a string and managed to hole a few putts and to be honest it could’ve been even lower as well.
“Obviously, I had the double up the last and also had a few 10-footers throughout the middle of the round that I missed.
“Dan probably gave me a bit on the 15th and that was kind of game over, unfortunately, but I managed to do everything that I wanted to do which was great.”
The European Tour player said there is plenty of good he can take from these last two weeks on the Jennian Homes Charles Tour. Not only does he have two trophies, but he also has finished 48-under par for his last eight competitive rounds.
“Being almost 50-under par for the last eight rounds of golf is definitely the best I’ve done and to be in contention two weeks in a row and execute how I’ve wanted to in both events is great, and I can definitely take a lot from that.
“Get me back to Europe basically.”
Hillier finished in second place after rounds of 64, 67, 66, and 69 to be three back at 22-under par.
Two ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia cards were also on the line this week with Luke Brown and Luke Toomey both gaining status for 2022.
Wenyung Keh finished as the leading women professional in a tie for 14th at 11-under par.
Autex Muriwai Open Final Leaderboard
1 Ryan FOX -25 65 66 68 64 263
2 Daniel HILLIER -22 64 67 66 69 266
3 Kieran MUIR -19 66 68 71 64 269
4 Ben CAMPBELL -18 68 70 67 65 270
5 Dongwoo KANG -17 69 69 69 64 271
T6 Luke BROWN -16 66 70 71 65 272
T6 James HYDES -16 68 69 66 69 272