Saturday, 22 September, 2018

Ponte Vedra's Russell Knox wins Irish Open in dramatic fashion

Russell Knox sinks incredible back-to-back putts to win the Irish Open Watch: Scotland's Russell Knox Lands Monster Putt To Win Irish Open
Frederick Owens | 12 July, 2018, 02:41

Russell Knox emerged victorious after a playoff with Ryan Fox on a thrilling afternoon at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open on Sunday.

Fox and Knox produced as many twists as Dr Seuss envisioned, going back and forth in a thrilling final day, and while it was Knox (stay with me) coming out on top, Fox didn't have many complaints as he claimed second and the $1.1 million New Zealand dollars which came with it (€ 665,614).

Knox did well to find the green with his second from an awkward lie at the first extra hole in a sudden-death play-off before converting an nearly identical putt.

They went back down the 18th hole for the playoff and Knox pitched from 120 metres to virtually the same spot on the green. But I played the U.S. Open and hopefully nothing can be as hard as that. Sometimes when I get too square with my feet, my upper body can get a little bit left and every putt I was missing was to the left. Each time Knox responded, with the pair the last ones standing in a round where several players launched bids at the title.

The 32 year old holed an 18-footer on the first, added another birdie on the next and then put his second to eight feet on the fourth to set up an eagle.

The event's first staging in Co Donegal failed to produce an Irish challenge, but it got a finish, and a victor, worthy of the magnificent setting when the 33-year-old Scot proved to be the man with the X factor as he clinched a career-changing play-off win over New Zealander Ryan Fox. "I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, I felt comfortable out there and it was close".

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Campillo finished the first nine on -6 - with Van Rooyen bogeying on 11th to leave the lead at two strokes.

Knox now heads to Scotland looking to win the Scottish Open. "I heard Russ holed a big one on 18 to get in the playoff and he obviously holed a massive one in the playoff as well".

"To make that team, you have to win tournaments".

The Scot will move back into the world's top 50 as a result of a win which boosts his hopes of a first Ryder Cup appearance in September.

'I do fancy my chances at Carnoustie, actually, but I'm not being greedy right now, ' he said.

Wade Ormsby and Adam Bland were Australia's best, both finishing 15 shots behind the victor for a tie of 49th.

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