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Champion Russell Knox eyes Ryder Cup | Ireland

11 July, 2018, 20:04 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
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       Highlights from the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin

Russell Knox holed two huge birdie putts on the 18th green at Ballyliffin to pull off a dramatic victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

During the final round of the European Tour's Irish Open, Knox needed to sink about a 50-foot putt for birdie in order to force a potential playoff with Ryan Fox.

The New Zealander had that putt for the title but missed on the high side and the pair were left to go back up the last.

When he made a five -footer for par at the 14th hole to preserve what was then a four-stroke advantage, Na felt like he could could see the finish line clearly.

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

"I remember thinking as soon as I hit it, "oh, I've hit it a bit firm", and it just started tracking and it dropped, unbelievable".

"I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events, so thank you very much to Rolex".

"After the eagle on the fourth, I knew I was in it because I hadn't really missed a shot", Knox said.

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"But I was able to hit a good shot and get on the green, which I was thrilled with".

But there was consolation for Fox in claiming one of the remaining slots for the British Open at Carnoustie later this month.

Knox was controversially overlooked for a Ryder Cup wild card in 2016 despite being ranked 20th in the world at the time, higher than seven members of the European team who would go on to lose at Hazeltine.

Spaniard Jorge Campillo finished one shot out of the playoff after a closing 65, one shot clear of countryman and defending champion Jon Rahm and overnight leader Erik van Rooyen.

Knox then birdied the sixth and after three straight pars but then after a birdie 3 at the 10th the Scot found himself in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par.

"This probably isn't going to be the last time that I'm involved in a golf tournament and it's been great in terms of who we've been able to help and what we've achieved from a charitable standpoint".

"I hit two great putts on the 18th - one grazed the edge and one came back at me", he said. The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers qualified.

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