Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Russell Knox wins Irish Open in playoff

Russell Knox wins Irish Open in playoff

Scotland's Russell Knox is the victor of this year's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin golf club, Donegal.

It was an epic end to a hugely successful event that attracted 94,239 fans over five days - 27,055 yesterday - making it bigger than the preceding Irish Opens at The K Club and Portstewart.

And when the players returned to the 18th for a sudden-death play-off the situation was remarkably repeated, Knox holing from an nearly identical place for birdie before Fox saw his attempt catch the edge of the hole and spin out.

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He secured his Open Championship berth by sharing second at last week's French Open and now heads home for next week's Scottish Open at Gullane before teeing up at Carnoustie.

"To make a putt like that, it's a dream come true", the 33-year-old told "It's so hard to win tournaments". 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. "This is a heck of a start but I feel I have more to go".

"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". "I'm happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close".

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"I thought my chances had slipped on 17 to be honest, failing to make birdie", Knox said.

"I drove it great, gave myself plenty of chances, and had one putt been one inch either way".

South Africa's Erik van Rooyen began the day with a four-shot lead but struggled to a 74 to finish alongside Rahm on 12 under.

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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. But he hit a final-round 66 and Fox a 68 to reach 14 under par, one ahead of Spain's Jorge Campillo. Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard took the other two places after finishing tied-sixth. The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers qualified. However, after taking just 27 putts on the final day, he's confident he's close to hitting his top form for The Open.

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