RAS AL KHAIMAH, RAS AL KHAIMAH, RAS AL KHAIMAH, RAS AL KHAIMAH, R After two rounds of the Ras Al Khaimah Classic on Friday, Ryan Fox fired 3-under 69 to take a three-stroke lead.
At Al Hamra Golf Club in the latest stop on the DP World Tour’s “Desert Swing,” the 211th-ranked New Zealander blended six birdies with three bogeys for a 36-hole total of 12-under 132.
With a 62, Oliver Bekker tied for third place with five other players, three strokes back.
After an opening 73 for the second week in a row at Al Hamra, the 37-year-old South African appeared unlikely to make the cut. However, an eagle on the par-5 14th hole, combined with nine birdies and a bogey, helped Bekker tie for second place.
“Even if they said eight or seven under par, I would have responded ‘Thank you very much,’ so I’m extremely thrilled,” said Bekker, who is ranked 152nd.
Zander Lombard (63) and Justin Harding (67), all from South Africa, are tied with Bekker, as are Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal (67), Italy’s Francesco Laporta, and Australian Jason Scrivener, who both shot 69.
Robert MacIntyre (70), the 66th-ranked player in the world, was four strokes off the lead in a group of six players.
Fox said that his game was “a little scrappier” than his first-round 63, which had put him in a two-shot lead overnight.
“I didn’t drive it as well as I would have liked, and I hit it a touch sloppy in the water on the last – that doesn’t help – but I hit my irons really well and gave myself plenty of chances,” Fox, 35, said.
Before Bekker’s spectacular day, Adrian Otaegui and Li Haotong had both shot course-record 63s in the previous two weeks.
It will be the fourth consecutive event held in the United Arab Emirates to begin 2022.