Published: Thu, July 12, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Russell Knox wins Irish Open after monstrous playoff putt

Russell Knox wins Irish Open after monstrous playoff putt

After rallying to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in a playoff, Russell Knox is back inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in almost a year.

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 already holed this one, so how hard can it be?' said Knox, jokingly, to his caddy James Williams. The way I managed to do it, holing those two long putts, it was just my time.

"I feel alright. I had two great putts on 18, one grazed the edge and one came back at me, so I'm happy - I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there, was close", he said.

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.

The second-place finish qualified the 31-year-old Kiwi to participate in the next major, the Open Championship at Carnoustie from July 19-22, and he also pocketed a career-best payday of €665,614 (NZ$1.14 million).

Russell Knox's hopes of making this year's European Ryder Cup have received a significant boost with victory in the Irish Open.

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

Spaniard Jorge Campillo finished one shot out of the playoff after a closing 65, one shot clear of countryman and defending champion Jon Rahm and overnight leader Erik van Rooyen.

The win is likely to lift Knox inside the world's top 50 as he prepares to return to home soil for next week's Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open at Gullane.

"To make the Ryder Cup team, you have to win tournaments", Knox said. 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.

Fox birdied the 12th and put his third to three feet on the par five 13th to lead by two but he bogeyed the next, with Knox joining him at the top after a tap-in at the 15th.

"The Open Championship is very important to me and I think I overreacted a little bit yesterday", McDowell 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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