Russell Knox wins the Irish Open

Ross Houston
July 12, 2018

Russell Knox can now dream of a debut Ryder Cup appearance after edging out Ryan Fox in a play-off to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin.

The New Zealander had a 10 footer for his birdie and it looked looked to be going in for all money until it moved left and lipped out, handing Knox his second win on the European Tour.

Knox had to hole a 40 foot on his final hole to get into the play-off, and he repeated the feat on the first play-off hole (the 18th) landing an nearly identical putt, which proved good enough.

Knox had a great feeling when he walked onto the 18th green in the playoff despite Fox's ball lying inside 15 feet. I've done it before in the US on the last hole, 12 feet.

On the winning putt in sudden death, he added: "I said to (caddie) James, "well, we've already made this putt". I mean, that's a bit of a bonus. This is a heck of a start, but I feel like I've got a lot more to go.

Fox played some brilliant golf over the 72 holes at Ballyliffin after taking the outright lead in day one and being in the mix all week. That would certainly make up for his disappointment at missing the last Ryder Cup, when he came so close on his own merits, but then failed to get one of the captain's wild card picks. "Fortunately I've done it before, so I knew I could do it".

Fox, who had the consolation of booking his place in the Open for the second year running in this event, said: "It's a bloody nice consolation".

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

Defending champion Jon Rahm was also in the mix, playing brilliantly to come back from a triple bogey seven early in his round to post a six under 66, enough to finish in T4 with van Rooyen.

Knox then birdied the sixth and after three straight pars but then after a birdie 3 at the 10th the Scot found himself in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par.

And Knox heads to this week's Aberdeen Standards Investments Scottish Open eager to win at Gullane ahead of teeing-up a week later at Carnoustie.

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

In terms of the Irish on the field, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were best placed, both on 2 under, 12 shots off the victor.

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