Posts Tagged ‘Russell Knox’

Russell Knox dreaming of Ryder Cup spot after brilliant Irish Open win at Ballyliffin

July 9, 2018

Russell Knox of Scotland celebrates with the trophy following his victory on the 18th green during a playoff at the end of the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin Golf Club on July 8, 2018 in Donegal, Ireland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Russell Knox is dreaming of a debut Ryder Cup appearance after edging out Ryan Fox in a playoff to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin.
Scottish born Knox drained two huge 40-foot putts on the 18th green, the second on the opening play-off hole to hold off Fox and secure his first European Tour win since the WGC-HSBC Champions in 2015.
Back in 2016, the 33-year-old, who is based in Florida, missed out on a wildcard pick with then captain, Darren Clarke, opting for Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters and Martin Kaymer.
This time around he’s determined to take the decision out of the hands of current captain, Thomas Bjorn, and qualify for the team as of right.
“It was obviously disappointing not to make the team being so close, but that’s gone now. That’s in the past,” said Knox.
“I mean, my job is to focus on trying to qualify for the team this year. Like I say, of course, it’s disappointing, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbled for me.
“I’ve got to head down, and just play my best, and if I’m one of those top-12 guys come the end of qualification, then I would love to be there.”

Knox finished joint second at the recent French Open and took another huge step towards playing on the team in France with this win on the Inishowen Peninsula in front of 27,000 fans.
“I mean, I wasn’t in a great spot, I guess, before last week when it came to World Ranking, Ryder Cup points, FedExCup, Race to Dubai, all of that stuff,” he said.
“To play well last week in France was big. I mean, on a tough golf course, obviously, Ryder Cup venue, helped, too. To play well there, my confidence was snowballing. I had been playing well for a couple months now but just was lacking that big finish.
“Last week it was nice to play really good on Sunday and be up there. I never really thought I was going to win it, which obviously I didn’t, but this week, starting out, Sunday here, I knew I had a chance. I was playing well the first few holes. I made great swings and I was like, I’ve got a chance today.

“But going forward, Ryder Cup-wise, still a long way away. To make that team, obviously, you have to win tournaments. Great start, obviously, this week. Last week, as well. But I mean, I fully expect — this is not good enough. I need to hammer down and I’m going to have to make that team in order to go to France.”

The next stop in his Ryder quest is a homecoming at the Scottish Open this week followed by The Open Championship at Carnoustie.
“I haven’t played there too much, to be honest. Years ago, I think I played a Scottish Amateur, Scottish Boys or something like that. So I probably only played it maybe two or three times. Honestly, I’ve watched it on TV many times, so I know it’s a beast,” he said.
“Obviously, it’s great to play an Open that’s being held in Scotland. Obviously, that’s a huge goal for Scottish players to play in their own country. But it’s obviously one of the best courses in the world, and to hold an Open, and me to be playing, I’m very happy. Might as well go try and win there.”

Ryan Fox

Kiwi Fox will also be playing in Carnoustie after collecting one of the three places on offer to the non-exempt players who finished in the top ten at Ballyliffin, the other two going to Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard.
It was some modicum of consolation for the 31-year-old.
“I hit two great putts on 18 and one grazed the edge and one came back at me. Look, I’m happy. I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch. Felt comfortable out there, and you know, it was close,” said Ryan.

“It’s a bloody nice consolation to get into The Open Championship. I’m excited and slightly nervous because Carnoustie is a bit of a beast. But I played the U.S. Open [at Shinnecock Hills] and hopefully, nothing can be as hard as that.

“I’ve played well around Carnoustie when I’ve played there before. Hopefully, I will have a few days to figure it out and see if I can play well at The Open.”
The Open Championship will also mark the next start for Rory McIlroy who brought the curtain down on four years as tournament host with a final round 71 (-1) that offered some hope of a positive future after a frustrating week on the greens.
“It was just an alignment issue and felt better today and felt like I could see the lines and I was starting the ball on a better line. I held some putts, which was good to see. If I putt for four days at Carnoustie like I did today, I’d be happy. “

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“I’m almost prouder of what we’ve achieved this week off the golf course than on it,” insists Rory after Irish open success

May 23, 2016
Rory McIlroy with the Irish Open trophy

Rory McIlroy with the Irish Open trophy

They may have been tears of relief, they may have been tears of joy but either way it was clear that winning the Irish Open meant a great deal to Rory McIlroy.
“I had a little bit of time on the 18th green when Russell [Knox] and Danny [Willett] were finishing out, and I was trying to hold back the tears then,” said the 27-year-old.
“You know, golf-wise this week, it’s obviously very important to me but we’ve put a lot of work into this tournament and into the [Rory] Foundation, and we are going to help a lot of people from this week.
“I mean, we’ve already raised over half a million Euros going into today for the three chosen charities, and then all the winnings go towards that, as well. We’ve broken the million Euro mark this week, which is absolutely incredible.

“I don’t usually get emotional about golf or about wins, but this one, it means just a little bit more, because it’s not just for myself. It’s for a lot of other people.”

Three Dublin based charities – Barrettstown, Jack & Jill Foundation and the LaraLynn Children’s Hospice will benefit directly from the money raised this week which has been boosted by Rory’s winnings.

Rory added; “When we started the Rory Foundation, this wasn’t some plan that we had from the start. It was more me thinking, how can I, or as a team, how can I go to The Irish Open and it mean something more.
“I wanted a real, fulfilling reason to go back every year and give it my all.
“The night that I did with Alex Ferguson on Tuesday night raised a hundred grand. I got a couple of big donations at the start of the week. The prize money, the percentage from the ticket sales is going to the Foundation.
“I’m here for other causes, and that gives me more fulfilment than hitting those golf shots on 16 and 18.
“They are great, and in golfing terms, it’s fantastic but I’m almost prouder of what we’ve achieved this week off the golf course than on it.”