Winner Fox sets sights on tour card

By Brian Keogh

Former Walker Cup star Noel Fox is targeting his European Tour card after grabbing his first win as a professional.

The Dubliner, 34, snatched the Europro Tour title at Faithlegg last week to scorch into contention for promotion to the Challenge Tour next year.

But Fox believes he can take his game to a new level and earn his tour card in November.

After pocketing €12,500, Fox beamed: "A couple of good weeks should see my stay in the top five on the money list and that would get me Challenge Tour next year.

"But I just hope to progress now and get through the Q-School rather than think about Challenge Tour. I'm aiming for the main tour."

Portmarnock ace Fox was capped more than 60 times for Ireland at amateur level, winning six amateur "majors" and Walker Cup honours.

And after struggling to make it as a professional, he believes he has the confidence now to finally take off.

He said: "No matter what you do in life, at some point you question yourself. But I knew deep down that even though my results didn’t show it, I was a much better player than I was the day I turned pro. And even a much better player than I was in Ganton in 2003."

He is backed by MMI and coached by Bob Torrance and putting guru Paul Hurrion - the same team that has helped Padraig Harrington and Paul McGinley to Ryder Cup glory.

But he insists that he was inspired to victory after watching his room-mate Alan Murray win the Europro event at Collingtree Park two weeks ago.

He explained: "Finding my feet as a pro was just an incremental thing for me. The first stage comes when you come away from an event and say, 'Maybe I can win out here.'

"The next stage is when you say: 'I could have won that event.' Then finally, you come back from an event and think: ‘I should have won that event.’ That was a big stage for me.

"I played with Alan in the last round at Collingtree and I just made some bad decisions. I should have contended in that event instead of finishing eighth and that just gave me a bit of a confidence boost - just play the same golf and make better decisions."

Irish players have won the last three events on the third tier Europro Tour with Brian McElhinney and Murray followed into the winner's circle by Fox.