Ponte Vedra's Russell Knox wins Irish Open in dramatic fashion

Russell Knox celebrates holing the winning putt on the 18th hole

Russell Knox celebrates holing the winning putt on the 18th hole

Russell Knox can now dream of a debut Ryder Cup appearance after edging out Ryan Fox in a play-off to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin.

It was an epic end to a hugely successful event that attracted 94,239 fans over five days - 27,055 yesterday - making it bigger than the preceding Irish Opens at The K Club and Portstewart.

Fox went ahead with a birdie at the 17th, but Knox drained an wonderful 40-footer on the 18th play-off after Fox missed from within 10 feet for an outright victory in regulation play.

Fox then two-putted for birdie on the 17th hole as Knox made the first of his enormous putts on 18 to set the clubhouse target at 14-under, giving the New Zealander a chance to claim the title if he could make birdie on the last.

"I would love to win the Scottish Open as well and for me to be playing in the Open at Carnoustie, one of the best courses in the world, I'm very happy". "On that last putt I said to my caddie, "I've already made this putt, so it can't be too difficult". "It's so hard to win tournaments". I wasn't really aiming, I was just sort of reacting to the line. This is a heck of a start, but I feel like I've got a lot more to go.

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

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Jorge Campillo (65) finished in third place, a shot further back, and defending champion Jon Rahm was in a share of fourth after a 66.

The victory earned Knox a prize of nearly £890,000 and his first win since the Travelers Championship in the U.S. in 2016 as he moves up to fifth place in the Race to Dubai standings.

"I hit two great putts on 18, one grazed the edge and one came back at me", Fox said afterwards.

The overnight leader, South African, Erik Van Rooyen, found the going tough and the pack chipped away at his lead, as he carded a couple of bogeys in his first nine.

"To make the Ryder Cup team, you have to win tournaments", Knox said. "Had one putt been an inch either way I'd still be out there now or even with the trophy in my hand but well done to Russell, he played some great golf".

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