Graham Fox relishing Scottish PGA defence in own backyard of West Kilbride
The Arnold Clark Tartan Tour’s flagship event, which gets underway on Tuesday, returns to this wonderful links for the first time since the prolific Eric Brown won the fourth of his eight Scottish PGA titles on the Ayrshire coast back in 1960.
Fox has some way to go to emulate the mighty haul of that decorated Ryder Cup stalwart but his success a year ago at Deer Park, almost a decade after he won his first national crown in 2012, remains a conquest to savour.
In a thrilling final day duel, the 45-year-old closed with an eight-under 64 for a 23-under aggregate and staved off the gallant assault of Craig Lee, who finished just a shot behind after a charging course-record equalling 63.
It was a terrific advert for the domestic circuit and Fox is anticipating another keenly-fought tussle for supremacy at West Kilbride this year.
“This club has a great pedigree when it comes to hosting events and it will be a great week,” said the reigning champion. “I was asked by The PGA in Scotland to put some feelers out to see if the club would be interested. They were really up for it. Personally, it will be nice for me to defend a title on my home course.
“The course is in superb condition. Like all links courses, it will need some wind as its defence, but it will be a really good test. I know it inside out so hopefully that gives me a wee advantage.”
Fox, who won five West Kilbride club championships in a row from the age of 14, will be hoping to tap into the relaxed approach he adopted in the Loch Lomond Whiskies Scottish PGA Championship a year ago which was rewarded with the ultimate triumph.
“I don’t get time to practice much these days and it was the same last year,” he reflected. “I went into the event with no expectations and ended up winning. To win anything is nice, especially when you’re getting older.”
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