Golf: Ryan Fox fails to capitalise on strong start to US Masters third round, drops outside top 20

Kiwi Ryan Fox has carded a five-over in the third round of the US Masters at Augusta National, knocking him all but out of contention for the prestigious event.  

Fox made another strong start to a round, but some mishits and an unfortunate triple bogey on the 17th hole have seen him drop to a tie for 26th place, 11 shots off current leader Scottie Scheffler.  

"Yeah, it was a weird day," he said. ”I had a couple of great shots early.

Fox lines up a putt.
Fox lines up a putt. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Played some of the hard holes on the front nine - you know, three, four, five, six - pretty well and then a bad three putt on seven, and a couple of bad drives on eight and nine. If the putter had worked a little better, I could have maybe got away with those."

Fox looked to be on form early on, peeling off three successive birdies to surge to a tie for fourth on the leaderboard at four-under.  

The world No.54 followed that with three straight pars, but dropped three shots on the bounce from 7-9, losing all the ground he had just gained from his three birdies, as he prepared for the back nine.   

Fox particularly made his frustration clear when his tee shot on the par-five eighth hole went wide right of the fairway, muttering "Oh hang on, dammit'' to himself.

After a bogey on the 10th, he built some momentum, as he parred both the 11th and 12th, before birdying the 13th, but just when he looked to regain his form, catastrophe struck on the par-four 17th.  

Shooting for eagle, Fox's chip shot hit the flagstick, before taking a bad bounce and rolling into a bunker. His bad luck led to a triple bogey, after he needed four putts to find the hole. 

He ended his up-and-down day with another dropped shot on the 18th.  

Fox left the course holding the same place he finished with in his inaugural Masters in 2023.   

"Hopefully, I can go a little earlier tomorrow," he said. "The golf course might be a little softer and I can put a score together."

He will try to join Frank Nobilo, who finished fourth in 1996, as the second Kiwi to finish in the top 10 at the Masters.