Fox Agonisingly Close, Loses Playoff In Ireland

Russell Knox sinks incredible back-to-back putts to win the Irish Open

Russell Knox sinks incredible back-to-back putts to win the Irish Open

Knox holed from 40 feet for birdie across the 18th green in regulation to join Fox on 14 under par with the Kiwi then missing from eight feet for a birdie of his own to win the title. "I love having to hit the little bump-and-runs from 70 yards like I had on 18 a couple of times", he said. "It's so hard to win tournaments". He had played the hole immaculately but saw a 12ft putt for a matching birdie horseshoe cruelly out.

Knox, who shot a 6-under 66 in his final round, was ecstatic to snatch a Rolex Series victory to add to his WGC-HSBC Champions crown from 2015 and continue his fine form after finishing in a tie for second at last week's French Open.

"I can't believe I have won it". When those putts go in, it's why you play golf.

Knox said at the presentation ceremony: "It's why I play golf, all the practice, all the misses, all the bad moments are taken care of with putts like that". It's the best feeling in the world, to be honest.

"I feel alright. I had two great putts on 18, one grazed the edge and one came back at me, so I'm happy - I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there, was close", he said. The 33-year-old is a two-time victor on the PGA Tour but has struggled recently.

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Ryan Fox has fallen agonisingly short of his maiden European Tour title.

"I mean, obviously, to make a putt like that, it's a dream come true, on the last hole to win", said Knox.

He made no secret of his bitter disappointment, and it appeared to linger during a desperate 18 months that saw him fall all the way to 137th place after the Memorial Tournament in OH in May. He will now head to Carnoustie full of confidence and has thrown his hat in the ring for a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team. He couldn't get the required eagle and finished on -12. "Fortunately I've done it before, so I knew I could do it".

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.

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. He'd already marked our cards with back-to-back T4s in the Scottish and Irish Opens a year ago but this acts as a further reminder that he's a go-to guy whenever the European Tour heads for the links.

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