Jul 8th, 2018
Russell Knox wins the Irish Open
With play off victory again New Zealand's Ryan Fox
Russell Knox has won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin, as the 33-year-old Scot secured a play-off win over New Zealander Ryan Fox.
Knox started the day six shots off the lead, but shot a six under 66, which included a monster 40 foot putt on the 18th to secure a play off position against Fox.
With the win came a cheque for $998,425, and some very valuable Ryder Cup points. He now sits fifth in the Race to Dubai, and eighth in the European Ryder Cup points list. 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.
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.
He started his back nine with a birdie-bogey on the 10th and 11th, but a birdie at the 12th and another at the 15th, gave him a tie for the lead with Ryan Fox and Jorge Campillo.
Fox went ahead with a birdie at the 17th, but Knox drained an amazing 40-footer on the 18th play-off after Fox missed from within 10 feet for an outright victory in regulation play.
"I thought my chances had slipped on 17 to be honest, failing to make birdie," Knox said.
"I knew that my only chance was to birdie 18, and I just got it cutting on the wind into the rough and I thought,
'oh, no, I'm going to be doomed over there'.
"But I was able to hit a good shot and get on the green, which I was thrilled with. Then I just blacked out to be honest. I stood over the putt. I read the putt and I was like, just don't aim. Like, just react.
"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.
"That's why you play golf, to hole a putt like that on the last hole. The adrenalin just comes out and it's the best feeling in the world to be honest.”
On the first sudden-death play-off, Knox hit into exactly the same spot that he had putted out so remarkably on the last hole in regulation. And he made it again!
On the winning putt in sudden death, he added: "I said to (caddie) James, 'well, we've already made this putt’.
"It was a little straighter than the other one, but it was tracking on a nice line and for it to go in, I feel bad for Ryan, but I guess it was my time.”
Here’s what was in Russell Knox’s winning bag:
Golf Ball: Srixon Z-STAR XV
Irons: 3-9 Srixon Z 745
Wedges: Cleveland Golf RTX3, 48,54, 60
2nd Fairway wood: Cleveland Launcher FL, 19
Hybrid: Cleveland Launcher DST, 20.5