Russell Knox wins Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

The Scot beat Ryan Fox on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff

Russell Knox wins Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Russell Knox wins Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Scotland’s Russell Knox defeated Ryan Fox of New Zealand on the first playoff hole to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation at Ballyliffin GC.

Russell Knox wins Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Russell Knox holed two superb putts on the 18th green at Ballyliffin GC to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open. The Scotsman claimed his second European Tour victory.

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Knox holed a 40-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole at Ballyliffin to set a clubhouse total of 14-under-par. That number was matched by New Zealand’s Ryan Fox when he missed a putt for a three on the home hole.

The pair returned to the 18th tee to decide the title via a sudden-death playoff. Both men found the green in regulation but Fox looked to be in the better position, within 15-feet of the cup.

Russell Knox

Russell Knox

Knox though had played into almost the same spot he had found on the 18th green in normal play. He knew the line from there and duly rolled his birdie putt home. When Fox missed his effort, the title and a cheque for nearly €1,000,000 went to Knox.

“To make a putt like that, it's a dream come true,” he said. “It's so hard to win tournaments. The way I managed to do it, holing those two long putts, it was just my time. I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events, so thank you very much to Rolex.”

Although it was a disappointing end to the event for Fox, there was consolation. Not only did he pick up over €650,000 but he also secured himself a start in The Open Championship at Carnoustie. Fox qualified for The Open in the same way last season.

Ryan Fox earned an Open start

Ryan Fox earned an Open start

“I hit two great putts on 18, one grazed the edge and one came back at me,” he said. “I'm happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close. 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 Russ, he played some great golf today.”

England’s Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard of South Africa were the other two men to claim Open berths at Ballyliffin. They finished tied for sixth with Thorbjorn Olesen and Danny Willett.

Defending champ Jon Rahm closed with rounds of 67 and 66 on the weekend to climb the leaderboard and finish in a tie for fourth with 54-hole leader Eric Van Rooyen of South Africa. Rahm’s fellow Spaniard Jorge Campillo signed off with a superb 65 to end the week in third place.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation Ballyliffin GC, Co. Donegal, Ireland 5-8 July Purse: $7,000,000 Par: 72

1 Russell Knox (Sco) 71 69 68 66 274 €998,425 2 Ryan Fox (NZL) 67 69 70 68 274 €665,614 3 Jorge Campillo (Esp) 70 71 69 65 275 €375,011 T4 Jon Rahm (Esp) 74 69 67 66 276 €276,765 T4 Eric Van Rooyen (RSA) 71 65 66 74 276 €276,765 T6 Zander Lombard (RSA) 70 68 72 69 279 €168,335 T6 Thorbjorn Olesen (Den) 72 69 70 68 279 €168,335 T6 Andy Sullivan (Eng) 73 72 65 69 279 €168,335 T6 Danny Willett (Eng) 68 70 69 72 279 €168,335 T10 Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 71 70 68 71 280 €115,019 T10 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 68 68 73 71 280 €115,019

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus 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 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?