Golf: Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox leads at halfway stage of star-studded Saudi International on European Tour

New Zealand golfer Ryan Fox has started 2021 in sublime form to be the clubhouse leader at the halfway stage of the star-studded Saudi International on the European Tour. 

The Auckland native posted a second consecutive 65, to give him a share of the lead, two shots clear of the chasing pack after fading light and rain stopped play early. 

Fox was just able to complete his second round, carding six birdies and a single bogey on his final hole to sit at ten under to give him a share of the lead with Scotland's Stephen Gallacher - who had six holes of his second round to complete - two shots clear of the chasing pack.

The tournament marquee players - World No.1 Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Bryson Dechambeau will finish their rounds on Sunday.  

Johnson recorded five birdies through 14 holes, putting him in a third-place sits just two shots back in a tie for third with Marcus Kinhult, who has two holes left, and finishers Andy Sullivan (66), Bernd Wiesberger (68).

Big name golfers Tommy Fleetwood, Tony Finau, Phil Mickelson and Rose are all within seven shots of the Kiwi going into the final two rounds. 

The 27-year-old Kiwi  who is chasing his second European Tour title is happy to be getting a favourable draw and pleased he's been able to use that to his advantage. 

“It’s been a really solid couple days of ball striking and saw a few putts go in both days, which was nice," Fox says after his second round. "To be sitting near the top of this leaderboard is always a good thing but it’s a pretty strong field this week.

“I think we got very, very lucky (with the draw). 

"No wind, the showers went through with the thunderstorms and when we came back out it was pretty much perfect.

"You don’t often get two days of no wind around here and it was nice to take advantage of that. 

"You get the bad side of the draw enough times, it’s nice to get the good side every now and again."

Fox will return to New Zealand after the final leg of the European Tour’s “Desert Swing” and faces 14 days of quarantine when he gets home.

"As long as I can make my flight on Sunday to make sure I get back into New Zealand," he says. "I can just control what I can control. If I go out and play well, try to set the target and make them chase me.

"I don’t know how many of the top 50 in the world are here this week, but it’s a lot."

The third round will continue in the early hours of Sunday morning as Fox looks to continue his sublime form.