Scotland's Knox edges Fox in Irish Open play-off


Russell Knox celebrates holing the winning putt on the 18th hole

Scotland’s Russell Knox took a dramatic Irish Open triumph as he edged out New Zealand’s Ryan Fox on the first hole of a play-off at Ballyliffin on Sunday.

World number 87 Knox, 33, secured victory by holing a 40-foot birdie effort after knocking in an almost identical putt to force the extra hole.

Fox missed a 10-footer on the 72nd green to clinch victory and then saw a putt of similar length lip out on the same 18th in the play-off.

Knox hit a closing 66 and Fox a 68.

The duo finished a stroke ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo, who fired a course-record equalling 65 as defending champion Jon Rahm hit an eventful 66 to share fourth with overnight leader South African Erik van Rooyen.

Van Rooyen’s four-stroke lead was cancelled out when Fox birdied the 11th to join the South African on 12 under.

The South African had birdied the fourth to move to 15 under but his three bogeys in four holes from the sixth gave hope to the chasing pack.

World number five Rahm looked out of contention following a triple bogey at the second but an eagle at the sixth undid some of the damage and his four closing birdies included a tap-in at the 18th after wedge approach hit the pin.

The victory earned Knox a prize of almost £890,000 and his first win since the Travelers Championship in the US in 2016.

The Scot will move back into the world’s top 50 as a result of a win which boosts his hopes of a first Ryder Cup appearance in September.

Tournament host Rory McIlroy finished in a share of 28th place on two under par after a closing 71.

More to follow.

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