Russell Knox: A Scottish first in Shanghai

Russell Knox from Inverness won the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament

Russell Knox wins WGC-HSBC Champions
Russell Knox wins WGC-HSBC Champions
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Russell Knox became the first Scottish winner of a WGC event as he finished two strokes ahead of American Kevin Kisner in the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

Russell Knox from Inverness shared the lead with Kevin Kisner through 54-holes of the WGC-HSBC Champions, but the Scot moved ahead in the final round with birdies on the 10th and 11th holes at Sheshan International. Another birdie at the 16th gave him a cushion and he was able to close out the victory and secure his first European Tour title.

"It's incredible. I always hoped it was going to happen but you're just never sure,” said the 30-year-old. “There's just so many unbelievable players on tours all around the world and to win at this stage is a dream come true. I still can't quite believe it.”

Kisner had to make do with second place on his own. It was a tough blow for the American who has been beaten in three playoffs on the PGA Tour in 2015.

5 Talking points from the WGC-HSBC Champions

1 – Victory in this event for Russell Knox is career-changing. He could move into the top-30 on the Official World Golf Ranking and will be exempt for both the PGA and European Tours and will play in The Masters. He is the first man to win a WGC event on his debut appearance since Jeff Maggert won the very first of them – the WGC Match Play of 1999. Just a few years ago, Knox was trying to make his way on the mini tours in the US and now he’s a World Golf Championship winner.

2 – Danny Willett produced a superb final round of 62 to climb into a tie for third place with Ross Fisher. The finish will greatly boost the Willett’s chances in the 2015 Race to Dubai as he continues his battle with Rory McIlroy at the top of the standings. It was a great week for Ross Fisher. After struggling for a spell towards the end of this season, he’s now up to 15th on the Race to Dubai.

3 – Dustin Johnson had another disappointing final round. The big-hitting American put himself right in the mix with two birdies in his first three holes, but a double bogey 7 at the par-5 8th put paid to his chances. Although he bounced back with a couple of birdies on the run for home, he had to make do with a tie for fifth place with Branden Grace.

4 – Young Matthew Fitzpatrick continued his fine run of form. The 21-year-old won the British Masters last month and was tied third in Hong Kong. Finishing in a tie for 7th place in this event, he has moved up to 12th place on the Race to Dubai rankings. It’s been quite a debut season on the European Tour.

5 – Jordan Spieth held on to win the battle of the big guns against Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman suffered food poisoning early in the week but fought back well and closed with a 66 to reach 14-under-par. Spieth ended the week one better than that after a closing round of 70.

WGC-HSBC Champions Sheshan International GC, Shanghai, China Nov 5-8 Purse: €8,000,000, par 72

1    Russell Knox (Sco)    67    65    68    68    268 2    Kevin Kisner (USA)    64    66    70    70    270   T3    Danny Willett (Eng)    65    74    70    62    271 T3    Ross Fisher (Eng)        69    69    65    68    271 T5    Branden Grace (RSA)    63    71    70    68    272 T5    Dustin Johnson (USA)    65    71    65    71    272 T7    Matthew Fitzpatrick (Eng) 68    69    69    67    273   T7    Patrick Reed (USA)    65    70    68    70    273 T7    Haotong Li (Chn)        66    69    66    72    273 T7    Jordan Spieth (USA)    68    72    63    70    273  

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?