Russell Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

Russell Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

Russell Knox wins Irish Open in playoff after extraordinary finish

Russell Knox gave proponents of putting by feel a huge boost by knocking in a couple of 40-foot bombs to win the $7 million Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

"To make a putt like that, it's a dream come true", the 33-year-old told europeantour.com.

World number 87 Knox, 33, won by holing a 40-foot birdie after knocking in an nearly identical putt to card a six-under 66 and force the extra hole.

It was a wonderful conclusion to a tournament that was hugely successful.

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That putt got Knox through the back door into the playoff where he holed a putt from basically the exact same spot for another birdie and his first victory non-WGC victory on the European Tour. He played some magnificent golf but his putter was stone cold and he will head to Carnoustie desperately hoping to rediscover his touch on the greens.

"Had one putt been an inch ether way I'd still be out there now or even with the trophy in my hand but well done to Russ, he played some great golf today".

And if Thomas Bjorn had any doubts about Knox's ability he only has to replay the Scot's final round charge, which began when he eagled the par-five fourth. "I'm happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close. I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events". But I hit some great shots, and the putter was just hot. "I just remember standing over it and thought just don't aim, just hit the putt and see what happens and I flushed the putt". I wasn't really aiming, I was just sort of reacting to the line. When those putts go in, it's why you play golf.

"I said to James (caddie James Williams): 'Well, we've already made this putt so it can't be too hard'".

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"The Open Championship is very important to me and I think I overreacted a little bit yesterday", McDowell said.

"I am not being greedy". 'It's time to enjoy this one'.

Fox saw his 12-footer to match the Scot's birdie spin out of the hole, leaving Knox as the champion - the first player flying the Saltire to claim this prize since Colin Montgomerie at Fota Island in 2001.

"Last year was a tough one for me but I stuck with it".

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South Africa's Eric van Rooyen blew his four-shot overnight lead with a 74 for 12 under par, level with defending champion Jon Rahm, who overcame a triple bogey at the second to post an impressive 66.

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