Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Irish Open: Russell Knox edges Ryan Fox in play-off to take title

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       Highlights from the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin 2:20 Highlights from the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin
Shannon Reynolds | 11 July, 2018, 20:03

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

He began the day six shots off the lead but closed with a six-under 66, holing an outrageous 40-footer on the final green to set the target at 14-under, before holing a almost identical putt to break Fox's heart in sudden death.

The New Zealander had that putt for the title but missed on the high side and the pair were left to go back up the last.

Then in the play-off he had an nearly similar putt to extend the play-off but his effort lipped out and Russell Knox was able to celebrate a first Irish Open win.

"I hit two great putts on 18 which grazed the edge and one came back at me", said Fox. "These things happen. People hole putts to win tournaments".

"I remember thinking as soon as I hit it, "oh, I've hit it a bit firm", and it just started tracking and it dropped, unbelievable".

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Knox eagled the par-five fourth to give his final round some initial momentum, and added a birdie on the 6th to make the turn in 32. "I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, I felt comfortable out there and it was close".

But there was consolation for Fox in claiming one of the remaining slots for the British Open at Carnoustie later this month.

"He also sent me a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week", laughed the four-time major victor.

Knox has also leaped to 8th on the European Ryder Cup "World" points table after being snubbed two years ago for Hazeltine "wildcard" selection. Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard took the other two places after finishing tied-sixth.

After being joined on 13 under by Knox and Campillo, Fox had a glorious chance to moved two ahead again with a 12-foot eagle chance at the 17th but the putt slipped by to leave him one ahead. The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers qualified. "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".

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