14 Aug 2017

Fox slips back through PGA field

4:24 pm on 14 August 2017

The Auckland golfer Ryan Fox found the going tough in his final round of the US PGA Championship in North Carolina, the final major of the year.

The New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox.

The New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Fox started the final day at the Quail Hollows course tied for 12th, but struggled during his last round to slip back to a tie for 54th.

The tournament was won by young American Justin Thomas who validated his reputation as one of golf's great talents when he stormed to a two-stroke victory at the Quail Hollows course.

Fox bogeyed his first hole of the day, but got his round back on track with an eagle at the seventh, however he then added another five bogies and a double bogey to card 78 and finish six over par.

He was philosophical about his finish.

"It's just one of those golf course that gives you nothing and I got nothing all day."

"I had a couple of good shots and didn't take advantage of them and I had a couple of shots that I didn't think were that bad that got punished really badly," said Fox.

"I probably could have got away with shooting two or three over. I dropped three shots on the last two holes which doesn't help as well.

"But I also had an afternoon tea time on a Sunday at a major which is a pretty cool thing to have."

While Fox was struggling, Thomas vaulted to the front of the field with four birdies in a sizzling seven-hole stretch mid-round and held firm over the dangerous final water-lined three holes, known as the 'Green Mile.'

The 24-year-old from Kentucky made a rare birdie at the par-three 17th to all but secure victory and a bogey at the last was academic as he carded 68 to finish at eight-under 276.

Fellow American Patrick Reed (67) bogeyed the last to finish equal second with Italian Francesco Molinari (67) and South African Louis Oosthuizen (70).

Hideki Matsuyama, seeking to become the first man from Japan to win a major, held the lead briefly mid-round before fading with three consecutive bogeys from the 11th.

He carded 72 and finished three shots behind with American Rickie Fowler (67).

Overnight leader Kevin Kisner (74) finished four shots back.

Thomas, one of the longest drivers on tour, came into the final major of the year ranked 14th in the world, though not one of the favourites after recent poor form.

He joins Spaniard Sergio Garcia (Masters), American Brooks Koepka (U.S. Open) and Spieth (British Open) as the year's major champions.