Tuesday, 18 September, 2018

Knox socks it to Fox with box-office Irish Open finish

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
Cassandra Castillo | 11 July, 2018, 20:02

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.

Russell Knox rolled in two fantastic, near-identical putts on both the 72nd and first play-off hole to claim the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. Knox has work to do but let's not forget that he shot a closing 65 to jump 16 places and finish runner-up at last week's Open de France.

He also climbed to a career-best 87th in the world rankings, topping the 95th place he had in February after his tied finish for third at the Maybank Championship in Malaysia.

"I hit two great putts on 18, one grazed the edge and one came back at me", Fox said afterwards. "On that last putt I said to my caddie, "I've already made this putt, so it can't be too difficult".

During the final round of the European Tour's Irish Open, Knox needed to sink about a 50-foot putt for birdie in order to force a potential playoff with Ryan Fox.

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Knox, who was on the 18th at the same time, hit a huge putt to put the pressure on the Kiwi. A 364 metre bomb of a drive down the middle set him up perfectly, while Knox narrowly avoided a bunker and could only recover to give himself a long putt for birdie.

"I feel like I've made some improvements over the last couple of days on that and at least I know I'm trending in the right direction heading into the Open Championship".

"But I was able to hit a good shot and get on the green, which I was thrilled with".

Fox, who has not won on the European Tour, looked in control of the tournament when he moved two clear after birdies at the 12th and 13th before bogeying the 14th.

"I love the challenge of links golf. Had one putt been an inch either way I'd still be out there now or even with the trophy in my hand but well done to Russell, he played some great golf". I'm not putting any pressure on myself. I guess Ireland and Scotland feel a little bit like home as well.

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