Knox holes 40-foot birdie to win £5.3m Irish Open

Erik Van Rooyen was in control of Irish Open 2018 entering the final round Sunday July 8

Russell Knox holed two incredible putts on the 18th green as he beat Ryan Fox in a play-off to win his second European Tour title at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

Coming out on top in a two-man playoff with the New Zealander Ryan Fox, Knox showed tremendous calmness and composure to sink a very, very long putt on the 18th. Although Fox would invariably bring it to a playoff, this was an equally spectacular effort.

Somehow, he sunk it again, roaring with delight, sending the crowd into raptures, and leaving Fox with a 12-footer to stay alive.

"I'll just treat it like any other event", McIlroy said.

"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, and.it was close", he said.

The pair were tied on 14 under after 72 holes at Ballyliffin Golf Club in County Donegal.

The event's first staging in Co Donegal failed to produce an Irish challenge, but it got a finish, and a victor, worthy of the magnificent setting when the 33-year-old Scot proved to be the man with the X factor as he clinched a career-changing play-off win over New Zealander Ryan Fox.

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He's now picked up more than £1.2 million in eight days, boosting his hopes of making a return to France in September for the Ryder Cup.

The big Basque came back from a triple bogey seven at the second after driving out of bounds to post a sensational 66 and share fourth with Erik van Rooyen, who shot 74, which left him just two shots outside the play-off on 12-under par.

And Knox heads to this week's Aberdeen Standards Investments Scottish Open eager to win at Gullane ahead of teeing-up a week later at Carnoustie.

"To make the Ryder Cup team you have to win tournaments", Knox said, "and this is a heck of a start".

Fox birdied the 12th and put his third to three feet on the par five 13th to lead by two but he bogeyed the next, with Knox joining him at the top after a tap-in at the 15th.

"But right now, I'm going to enjoy this victory and this tournament".

In terms of the Irish on the field, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry were best placed, both on 2 under, 12 shots off the victor. 'I got to 18th in the world and I saw how good the players were around me.

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