Surprised Fox leading Irish Open

(AP Photo/Matt York)

THOMASTOWN, Ireland (AP) New Zealand's Ryan Fox was surprised Thursday to find himself leading the Irish Open after the opening round, despite his impressive form this season.

Fox had eight birdies, including seven in his last 11 holes, in a flawless 8-under 64 at Mount Juliet. He has a one-shot lead over Frederic Lacroix, Jorge Campillo, Fabrizio Zanotti and Marcel Schneider.

Fox, who lost a playoff for the 2018 Irish Open to Scotland's Russell Knox, won the Ras Al Khaimah Classic in February, finished runner-up in the Soudal Open and Dutch Open and was third in the BMW International on Sunday.

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