Russell Knox wins Irish Open at Ballyliffin

Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2018

The pair played the same hole again, with Knox holing from an nearly identical position while Fox missed his birdie chance from about 12 feet. I remember thinking as soon as I hit it, I was like, 'Oh, I've hit it a bit firm, ' and it just started tracking and it dropped, unbelievable.

Rory McIlroy believes his game showed signs of progress during the weekend at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, giving him confidence ahead of The Open.

McIlroy struggled with his putting during the first two rounds but was pleased to see his fortunes improve of the greens on his way to a tied-28th finish.

"The putts have been going in these last couple of weeks and I just had a great feeling on the greens and I wasn't really aiming but just reacting to the line of the putt", said Knox.

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. Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard joined Fox in claiming an Open qualifying spot after finishing in a tie for sixth.

Erik van Rooyen led by four overnight but fell away with a final-round 74.

"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.

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

Not wanting to miss out, Knox hit a monster birdie to take a share of the four way lead. The son of former All Black outhalf, Grant Fox, had a chance to win the top prize on his final hole but just didn't hole out from 10 feet. I've done it before in the US on the last hole, 12 feet. But with Van Rooyen racing clear with a 66, a costly bogey-6 at 17 made his job that much harder for Sunday's finale.

Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf's most illustrious events. "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". This one was just a little longer.