Knox eyes Open title after Irish glory

Rahm almost holed his approach at the par-four last

Rahm almost holed his approach at the par-four last

Fox lost in a dramatic playoff to Scotland's Russell Knox who rolled in almost-identical birdie putts from around 40 feet on the 72nd hole and the first playoff hole to win the tournament early Monday (NZT).

Fox and Knox produced as many twists as Dr Seuss envisioned, going back and forth in a thrilling final day, and while it was Knox (stay with me) coming out on top, Fox didn't have many complaints as he claimed second and the $1.1 million New Zealand dollars which came with it (€ 665,614).

However, a second monstrous putt from Knox put the pressure back on Fox to hole out to get it to a second playoff hole.

When the players returned to the 18th for a sudden-death play-off the situation was repeated, Knox holing from nearly exactly the same place for birdie before Fox saw his attempt from close range catch the edge of the hole and spin out.

Somehow, he sunk it again, roaring with delight, sending the crowd into raptures, and leaving Fox with a 12-footer to stay alive. I'm so happy. I said (on the play-off hole) we've already made this putt, it can't be too hard. This means the world to me'. "I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events, so thank you very much to Rolex".

"That's why you play golf, to hole a putt like that on the last hole".

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Knox is set to climb into the world's top 50, having tied for second place at the French Open last week, and is fifth in the Race to Dubai. "I'm happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close". "On that last putt I said to my caddie, "I've already made this putt, so it can't be too difficult".

"He also sent me a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week", laughed the four-time major victor.

Spaniard Jorge Campillo finished one shot out of the play-off after a closing 65, one shot clear of countryman and defending champion Jon Rahm and overnight leader Erik van Rooyen. He will now head to Carnoustie full of confidence and has thrown his hat in the ring for a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team.

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.

Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy were the only Irish players to finish below par.

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