Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

  • Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

Russell Knox set his sights on Open Championship glory and Ryder Cup redemption after defeating Ryan Fox in a play-off to win the £5.3million Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in truly extraordinary fashion.

McIlroy expressed delight at the success of this week's Ballyliffin event after the European Tour's decision to bring the tournament to the Donegal venue for the first time.

The Scotsman defeated New Zealand's Ryan Fox in the first hole of their play-off by holing a 40-foot birdie.

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.

Fox's putt dramatically lipped out for his birdie to force a second playoff hole and gave Knox the win. I'm so happy. I said to my caddie (on the play-off hole) we've already made this putt, it can't be too hard. "It's so hard to win tournaments".

"I had the apple in my hand... and I just saw someone at the last minute", said Knox.

"It was it was my time this week and I feel very lucky".

The 32 year old holed an 18-footer on the first, added another birdie on the next and then put his second to eight feet on the fourth to set up an eagle. "I hit the ball the best I've hit it on Thursday and I felt like I sort of kept it up".

Defending champion Jon Rahm was also in the mix, playing brilliantly to come back from a triple bogey seven early in his round to post a six under 66, enough to finish in T4 with van Rooyen.

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

After moving day, South African Erik Van Rooyen was in control with a four shot lead heading into the final round.

"I hit two great putts on the 18th - one grazed the edge and one came back at me", he said.

Knox now has two weeks on home soil with not only the goal of a first Scottish Open triumph but matching Paul Lawrie's feat of becoming the second Scot in three Carnoustie Open's to lift the Claret Jug.

McIlroy is looking to recapture his best form after failing to make the cut at the U.S Open last month. But I hit some great shots, and the putter was just hot.