Knox wins playoff for Irish Open title

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

Kevin Na ended a near-seven year wait for his second PGA Tour victory thanks to a brilliant final round of 64 to win the Military tribute at The Greenbrier by five shots over 54-hole leader Kelly Kraft.

Russell Knox rolled in two fantastic, near-identical putts on both the 72nd and first play-off hole to claim the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

On the first sudden-death play-off, Knox hit into exactly the same spot that he had putted out so remarkably on the last hole in regulation. "I heard Russ holed a big one on 18 to get in the playoff and he obviously holed a massive one in the playoff as well". "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". Each time Knox responded, with the pair the last ones standing in a round where several players launched bids at the title.

Fox led the tournament after the first day and went back in front after a birdie on 12.

Knox holed out from nearly exactly the same distance and place for birdie before Fox saw his attempt from close range catch the edge of the hole and spin out.

It turned into a familiar theme.

The pair played the same hole again, with Knox holing from an nearly identical position while Fox missed his birdie chance from about 12 feet.

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It is the first time Knox has been in the world's top-50 since August 2017 having dropped as low at 137th in May this year.

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.

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.

However, the wheels were soon looking wobbly on "Von Rooyen's Express" and all-and-sundry, including Knox taking full advantage.

There, it was unfortunate deja vu for Fox. His long birdie putt curled left to right and into the cup.

It was Knox's second European Tour title and all the more surprising given he began the day six off the lead. Both finished on two under.

Russell Knox is the Irish Open champion.

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