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Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

11 July 2018

He almost managed it - a booming drive and delicate approach left Fox needing to hole an eight-footer to win his first title on the European Tour, but past the right edge it skimmed, leaving Fox stunned, and giving Knox a second chance as the pair returned to the 18th hole for a playoff. He has boosted his chances of making Europe's Ryder Cup team for the match against the United States in France in September.

Fox left himself a putt to win it.

"I love the challenge of links golf".

"It's why I play golf - all the practice days, all the misses, all the bad moments, all are taken care of with putts like that". You might think the video below is just a replay of the putt in regulation, but it is indeed Knox proving that it wasn't just luck he made the putt the first time.

"To make the Ryder Cup team, you have to win tournaments", Knox said. "I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, I felt comfortable out there and it was close".

"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. "Then I just blacked out, to be honest". Like, just react.' I mean, I pured the putt.

"I am thrilled to go back to Scotland for two weeks where I grew up", he said. And I have the Scottish Open next week too.

"But right now, I'm going to enjoy this victory and this tournament. I will enjoy this for a long, long time".

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Fox, along with England's Andy Sullivan and South African Zander Lombard, had the consolation of clinching an Open Championship spot for the three leading non-exempt top-10 finishers at Ballyliffin.

Knox might have hoped the "apple throwing" incident would be overshadowed by his victory, but we reckon it's a part of the Irish Open that we shouldn't forget in a hurry.

Jorge Campillo (65) finished in third place, a shot further back, and defending champion Jon Rahm was in a share of fourth after a 66. I slept on it and think it's important that I go there and be focused.

The Holywood man had 124 putts for the week - 24 more than he had when winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. "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".

He said: "I definitely saw some encouraging signs on the greens today which was great and gives me something to work on over the next few days in preparation for Carnoustie".

It also offers some redemption on Irish soil after the 33-year-old finished second to Rory McIlroy at this event in 2016.

"For me to have made it twice in a row.I'm very lucky".

Somehow, he sunk it again, roaring with delight, sending the crowd into raptures, and leaving Fox with a 12-footer to stay alive.

Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish