Knox eyes Open title after Irish glory

12 Julio, 2018, 02:40 | Author: Thomas Hicks
  • Russell Knox sinks incredible back-to-back putts to win the Irish Open

Rory McIlroy's putting might be coming around, but if he was looking for inspiration he got it in spades as Russell Knox claimed the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with two putts for eternity at Ballyliffin.

Fox went into the final round of the Irish Open at Ballyliffen in Donegal four shots behind leader South African Erik van Rooyan.

Knox put his second shot in a position nearly identical to the one he found on the 72nd hole and rolled it home again, with Fox missing his own birdie attempt from 12 feet.

Fox shot 68 to Knox's 66, with Jorge Campillo going round in 65 to finish one off the pace at 13 under. 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.

The Inverness native shot a closing 66 to come from six shots back after 54 holes to tie Fox at the top of the leaderboard on 14 under.

Ryan Fox of New Zealand reacts to a putt on the 18th green during the final round of the Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club.

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.

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Knox also qualifies for The Open as a result of his triumph, along with Zander Lombard and Andy Sullivan, who finished joint-sixth and were the highest-placed players not already in the field for Carnoustie.

Van Rooyen had birdied the fourth to move to 15 under but his three bogeys in four holes from the sixth gave hope to the chasing pack.

"I love the challenge of links golf". Both finished on two under. It was his second tour title. Instead, his putt slid by the hole and the pair headed up the 18th once more.

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

'Golf is hard, ' he said. I had a great feeling on the greens.

McIlroy chances at Shinnecock Hills last month should have been boosted by a lengthy spell of preparation on Long Island, the 29-year-old renting a house in the area for two weeks and making the trip east immediately after finishing in a tie for eighth in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

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