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Fox looking to repeat Kiwi golfing history

Newshub logoNewshub 13/06/2018 Simon Hampton
Fox will be in the hunt at Shinnecock Hills. © Image - Photosport; Video - Newshub. Fox will be in the hunt at Shinnecock Hills.

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox has an eye on history as he prepares for the US Open, which starts north of New York on Friday (NZ time).

Fox qualified for this year's tournament at the same event Michael Campbell did 13 years ago and is hoping the stars will again align like they did in 2005.

The 31-year-old Aucklander has been getting into the swing of things at Shinnecock Hills as he looks to replicate Campbell’s feats of and lift the U.S. Open Championship Trophy.

"I posted something on Instagram and Cambo [Campbell] actually replied and said 'go and do what I did'," Fox told Newshub. "Pretty cool from someone of his prestige".

But Fox is well aware it won't be easy lining up against some of golf's biggest names on a course not likely to be forgiving of any mistakes.

"Don't hit the rough, basically," he said warily. "I had a mate describe it to me – 'you could lose a baby in there, it's that long'. And that's pretty accurate actually."

That and some fast, sloping greens will make even par a quality round.

While there are always nerves ahead of a major, Fox is better for the experience at his previous three.

"Today it was a bit nerve-wracking when I was stuck in traffic, late for my tee time, rolled up had to hit a ball in front of Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods. Luckily I hit in on the fairway.

"But yes you get used to it, I guess it feels a bit more normal than it would have a couple of years ago".

Still plenty of nerves for dad, Grant, who wouldn't miss it for the world, but admits the timing wasn't great.

"Well the All Blacks have just started so there's a bit on with work," said Fox, a former All Black himself and now selector.

"But my wife was keen for me to come and Ryan really likes it when we're here so we sort of thought about it for 10 minutes and then said 'bugger it', and here we are."

Fox isn't the only Kiwi in the field. Tim Wilkinson will also take on the Shinnecock course.

Both are firm underdogs but determined to create their own piece of New Zealand golfing history at the US Open.

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