Ryan Fox has won the 2022 Seve Ballesteros Award after being voted Player of the Year for last season by his fellow professionals on the DP World Tour.
The 36-year-old becomes the first New Zealander to win the prestigious award since Michael Campbell received the honour in 2005, and it comes after an outstanding season during which he won twice and finished in a career-best second place on the DP World Tour Rankings presented by Rolex.
“It’s probably not something that I expected ever in my career,” Fox said. “I would like to say it’s something I dreamed of, but you look at those names on the trophy and I probably don’t count myself as one of those.
“Last year I thought I had a chance but a few other guys played pretty well – Rory (McIlroy), Matt (Fitzpatrick) and Jon Rahm, especially at the end of the year. So when Keith Pelley told me I was pretty shocked and obviously pretty chuffed as well.
“To have your peers vote for you makes it that extra bit special. To have my name on the Seve Ballesteros Award, it’s kind of surreal. It’s pretty cool to be part of a little bit of history in that regard.”
Fox polled 50% of the votes cast in total by the DP World Tour members, with DP World Tour Rankings winner Rory McIlroy taking second place ahead of the 2022 U.S. Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick in third.
The Kiwi was presented with the trophy by one of Seve’s sons Javier and his daughter Carmen, both of whom travelled to this week’s Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour – a tournament won by Seve himself in 1992 – to officially welcome Fox to the illustrious list of winners.
Fox started 2022 in fine style, picking up his second DP World Tour title at the Ras al Khaimah Classic in February before an emotional victory at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in St Andrews in October.
The 2016 Challenge Tour graduate dedicated his victory at the Home of Golf to the late cricketing great Shane Warne, whom he paired up with in the popular Pro-Am format on numerous occasions, including finishing runners-up together in the 2021 contest.
In addition to his pair of victories, Fox showed remarkable consistency to notch up four second place finishes – at the Soudal Open, Dutch Open, Horizon Irish Open and the Nedbank Golf Challenge – as well as a further four top tens.
His excellent form led to a meteoric rise up the Official World Golf Ranking as he climbed from outside the top 200 into the world’s top 50 for the first time, peaking at a career-best 23rd after his victory at the Old Course.
The Player of the Year Award, named after the legendary Seve Ballesteros, last year amalgamated with the former Golfer of the Year award to become one singular honour voted for by the players, helping further commemorate the Spaniard’s incredible legacy.