Tournament: Mallorca Golf Open
DP World Tour Rankings: Tournament 40 of 43 events
Venue: Son Muntaner Golf Club, Palma, Mallorca, Spain
Prize Fund: €3,000,000
Hashtag: #MGO2022 #DPWT
Ryan Fox continues his hunt to become the first Kiwi winner of the DP World Tour Rankings as the World Number 25 tees it up at the Mallorca Golf Open, where a victory would move him to second place and within touching distance of leader Rory McIlroy in the season-long list.
The New Zealander has had a career-defining season in 2022, his second victory of the campaign earlier this month at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship helping catapult him into contention to win the DP World Tour Rankings in partnership with Rolex.
Fox currently sits in third place, behind leader McIlroy and second-placed Matt Fitzpatrick, and he requires a strong finish to the season to make history for his home nation and be crowned the Tour’s number one player.
He is joined in the field this week by Spanish hero Rafa Cabrera Bello, as well as the defending champion Jeff Winther of Denmark, as Son Muntaner Golf Club hosts the event for the first time – capping off a three-week Spanish swing on the DP World Tour.
Ryan Fox: “I feel after last week it’s hard to know how my game is, I missed the cut by one after doubling the last. I hit a lot of good and probably didn’t get rewarded for them, but then I probably didn’t see 19 under like Adrian shot last week.
“I think the game is close, it’s just getting comfortable again. It’s been a funny few weeks, obviously I had a win in there and then a few missed cuts too so hopefully I find the good stuff not that bad stuff this week.
“It’s quite a bit different to what I expected, I think you come over here expecting resort, wide-open golf and it’s definitely not that. It’s quite narrow in places, there’s a lot of trouble in places as well. I think it’s going to be hard to pick the score this week.
“I think it could be quite spread scoring, there’s a lot of trouble and it’s narrow but the greens are soft so you can fire at flags if you do get it in play. I think it will be a low winning score this week but potentially it will be quite spread out like last week.
“To be honest I’m trying not to do anything different. I’ve been really good this year at not thinking about the external stuff, just thinking about trying to beat the golf course I’m playing and one shot at a time. I know that’s cliched but there’s a reason for that, it works.
“I want to give those guys a run, I’ve got to do something pretty impressive at the back end of the year to get past Rory and Fitz, but stranger things have happened and I’ll just be doing my thing, not trying to do anything different because it’s obviously worked pretty well for me this year.”
Jeff Winther: “I remember I went here on holiday with my family last year, and then we got locked in my bathroom Sunday morning and then I turned out to be the winner, it was awesome!
“I tried to hang on on Sunday really. I wasn’t too nervous because the nerves went away after the bathroom stuff in the morning, it was just a weird day. I was like a zombie, it was weird but a great day. My caddie kept me calm, it wasn’t my normal caddie, but it was phenomenal.
“We really went there for a holiday, to combine the two things and it turned out to be a great holiday! I wasn’t quite sure if it was a two-shot lead but I was very pleased hitting the fairway on 18 because it’s not an easy tee shot and the rough was quite patchy so I was feeling great and we kept it calm and got it done, it was great.
“I feel great, I’m hoping to do some damage this week. The course looks great, the greens look phenomenal, so I think it’s going to be a great week.
“I think there are a few holes that are quite tight but other than that it’s hammer all day. You’ve got short wedges in, I think the main thing this week is going to be spin control, because you’ve got a lot of wedges in your hand. It’s a short course and the par fives are reachable. It will be low scoring definitely.”
Rafa Cabrera Bello: “I’m happy to be here obviously, the last few events haven’t been good and I haven’t been making the cuts. I honestly don’t feel like I’ve been hitting the ball that bad but I haven’t been putting well enough consistently and I’ve just not been scoring low. But that’s golf sometimes, I’m still here, I’m still positive and I’m still looking forward to this week.
“I don’t want to dwell on the mistakes too much because I know it doesn’t help me, but I haven’t putted well enough to be up there contending, there tends to be a knock-on effect when the putts don’t go in – your chips somehow end up a little further away and you put more pressure on the iron shots etc etc. So the game breaks down from green to tee.
“But my putting exercises have been good, my performances on the putting greens before tournament days and even on tournament days have been good so I just have to stay positive, stick at it and I’m sure if I can get a few putts going in that’s going to boost my confidence really quickly.
“I think it’s a scoreable course from what I’ve seen so far, very nice and very pretty. It looks in good shape too, some areas where the rough can be tricky, some areas where they haven’t been grown out that much. The greens look good, there seems to be quite a bit of movement to them as well, so I think that courses where you have to play well suit my game.
“Every course that I play, I always want to try to find a way that it suits my game, I feel that helps me prepare for it. I always end up finding a way to say that this course suits me in some way or another.”