Knox eyes Open title after Irish glory

Rory reflects on Ballyliffin and Irish Open as a host

Rory reflects on Ballyliffin and Irish Open as a host

Fox has lost a playoff to Scotland's Russell Knox at the Irish Open, missing an eight-foot putt to win the title and then having to watch on as Knox sunk two miraculous putts - the first to force a playoff, and the second to win it.

After Knox made birdie on No. 18 to set the clubhouse target at 14-under par, Ryan Fox of New Zealand missed an 8-foot (2.4 metres) birdie putt that would have won him the Rolex Series event.

Knox then appeared to have an uphill battle in overtime after missing the fairway on the first extra hole, but he quickly turned the tables on Fox by rolling in a almost identical putt from long range for birdie on the 18th green.

Fox eventually edged ahead with a birdie at the 17th, but Knox would not go away and that sensational 40-footer on the last proved good enough for a play-off after Fox missed from inside 10 feet for outright victory. 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.

"I feel like I've made some improvements over the last couple of days on that and at least I know I'm trending in the right direction heading into the Open Championship".

The victory earned Knox a prize of nearly £890,000 and his first win since the Travelers Championship in the USA in 2016 as he moves up to fifth place in the Race to Dubai standings. "I have to qualify by right", Knox said. I read the putt and I was like, 'Just don't aim. "Fortunately I've done it before, so I knew I could do it".

"It's been an eye-opener to see how much goes into running a golf tournament and it's been great for me, especially for the future", McIlroy said.

Kiwi golfer Ryan Fox hits the "perfect link shot" on the 7th hole.

Fox had to settle for $777,770 and one of three spots at Carnoustie, with the other two going to South African Zander Lombard and England's Andy Sullivan, who tied for sixth with Danny Willett and Thorbjorn Olesen on nine-under.

It catapulted him to eighth in the European Ryder Cup standings before this week's Scottish Open and the Open Championship at Carnoustie next week.

Spain's Jorge Campillo finished a shot outside the play-off after a brilliant final round of 65, with defending champion Jon Rahm another stroke back following a remarkable 66 which included a triple-bogey seven on the second and five birdies in the last six holes.

Rory McIlroy shot 71 and was 2 under overall. I felt a lot better about it so that was great. I mean, that's a bit of a bonus.

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