U.S. Open

Pinehurst Resort & Country Club (Course No. 2)

Bottle popping novice

Ryan Fox's BMW PGA win was impressive. His champagne-spraying skills, not so much

September 17, 2023

Richard Heathcote

All appeared to be lost Sunday at the BMW PGA Championship for Ryan Fox when his drive on the par-4 third at Wentworth sailed out of bounds right. An eventual triple-bogey 7 on the hole felt like it had extinguished any hope of victory in the DP World Tour's flagship event.

Somehow, though, Fox stayed positive. While five shots off the pace standing on the seventh hole, his fortunes would begin to change as he made the first of eight birdies coming into the clubhouse. And with a closing 67, Fox had rallied for an improbable one-stroke win over Tyrrell Hatton and Aaron Rai.

With the victory, the 36-year-old New Zealander found himself obliged to perform a few traditional customs of the newly minted BMW PGA champion. Among them: a ceremonial champagne spray for waiting onlookers on a walking bridge beside the 18th hole.

The only catch? Well, watch and listen to the video here and you’ll soon find out.

What makes this surprising is the fact Fox had won three previous DP World Tour events. Seemingly, he'd have done this once or twice to celebrate. There's also the fact his father, Grant, was a lauded rugby player who (we’re presuming) did some champagne spraying in his day after the New Zealand All-Blacks won their World Cup title in 1987.

Sure enough there is some photographic evidence that indeed Fox does have some experience with bottle popping. Here's a photo of him after his very first DP World Tour victory at the ISPS Handa Super 6 Perth in 2019.


Paul Kane/Getty Images

No, that looks like a much better technique! Hey, after the furious charge Fox made on Sunday, we'll forgive him for forgetting the past. We just hope Sunday's "performance" gets better should Fox find himself in the winner's circle with a little bubbly again down the road..