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Ryan Fox ties for sixth as Dustin Johnson holds on to win Saudi International

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Ryan Fox of New Zealand in action at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club where he finished sixth equal in the Saudi International European Tour event.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Ryan Fox of New Zealand in action at the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club where he finished sixth equal in the Saudi International European Tour event.

New Zealand’s Ryan Fox tied for sixth as Dustin Johnson has held his nerve to win the Saudi International for the second time in three years and extend his lead at the top of the world golf rankings.

Fox earned around $133,000 (€79,422.12) in tying with Tyrell Hatton (England), Rasmus Højgaard (Denmark) and Viktor Hovland (Norway).

He shot a two-under 68 in the final round on Sunday (Monday NZ time) to finish four shots behind Johnson.

Fox had shared the lead after second round after shooting two consecutive 65s, but he slipped down the leaderboard with a one-over 71 in the third round.

EUROPEAN TOUR

Dustin Johnson wins Saudi International event, after a very successful 2020.

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* Ryan Fox slips down leaderboard in Saudi Arabia as Dustin Johnson takes charge
* Ryan Fox leads the Saudi International and is in contention for second European Tour win
* Ryan Fox makes excellent start at Saudi International on latest leg of European Tour

Ryan Fox with eventual winner Dustin Johnson during the third round.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Ryan Fox with eventual winner Dustin Johnson during the third round.

The 34-year-old felt it had been “a great week’’ at Royal Greens Golf Club.

“A bit of what could have been on the weekend but nice to be in contention again,’’ Fox said on social media. “Long trip home for me but looking forward to spending time with my girls when I’m outta quarantine.’’

Johnson, who was also runner-up in 2020, won the title despite carding his worst round of the tournament on Sunday with a two-under 68, managing only three birdies.

But it was enough to win as the American finished the tournament at 15 under par, two shots ahead of Justin Rose and Tony Finau.

Scotland’s Calum Hill eagled the par-five 18th to finish in a tie for fourth with France’s Victor Perez in the PGA European Tour tournament.

“Conditions when we started were really tough,” Johnson said.

Dustin Johnson of the USA with the winners trophy at the Saudi International.

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Dustin Johnson of the USA with the winners trophy at the Saudi International.

“I knew I was hitting it well, I saw the leaderboard and I knew the guys were playing well.

“I kept giving myself chances, I didn’t hole any of them but I hit good shots and I finally holed a really nice putt on 13 and from there on I played solid.

“After Augusta to get my first win, the game’s still in really good form and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year.”

Johnson took a two-shot lead into the final round but the 2020 Masters champion struggled on the greens and was caught by Finau when his fellow American made a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th.

However, Johnson edged back in front with a birdie on the 13th and was given some welcome breathing space when Finau dropped shots on the 16th and 17th and Perez double-bogeyed the 16th.

Johnson also dropped a shot on the 16th to see his lead cut to one, but responded in style with a massive tee shot on the next and a pitch to two feet to set up a decisive birdie.

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