Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Lowry and McIlroy Best Of The Irish As Knox Takes Title

Erik Van Rooyen was in control of Irish Open 2018 entering the final round Sunday July 8 Erik Van Rooyen was in control of Irish Open 2018 entering the final round Sunday July 8
Cary Erickson | 11 July, 2018, 20:03

Russell Knox rolled in two wonderful, near-identical putts on both the 72nd and first play-off hole to claim the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Knox closed the tournament with a magnificent round of 66 at the fabulous Ballyliffin Golf Club (Watch Course VLOG), which turned out to be a wonderful venue.

During the final round of the European Tour's Irish Open, Knox needed to sink about a 50-foot putt for birdie in order to force a potential playoff with Ryan Fox.

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.

Signs of progress at the Irish Open over the weekend put former world number one Rory McIlroy in a positive frame of mind before next week's British Open at Carnoustie.

"I remember thinking as soon as I hit it, "oh, I've hit it a bit firm", and it just started tracking and it dropped, unbelievable".

"It was a little straighter than the other one, but it was tracking on a nice line and for it to go in, I feel bad for Ryan, but I guess it was my time".

Tropical Storm Chris continues to spin off North Carolina coast
Tropical Storm Chris is shown off the eastern coast of North and SC , U.S., in this satellite image July 9, 2018 at 16:12 UTC. High surf and risky rip currents are expected to spread from the North Carolina coast to New England for several days.

"I feel like I've made some improvements over the last couple of days on that and at least I know I'm trending in the right direction heading into the Open Championship". "I hit the ball the best I've hit it on Thursday and I felt like I sort of kept it up".

Campillo finished the first nine on -6 - with Van Rooyen bogeying on 11th to leave the lead at two strokes.

Van Rooyen's four-stroke lead was cancelled out when Fox birdied the 11th to join the South African on 12 under.

The big Basque came back from a triple bogey seven at the second after driving out of bounds to post a sensational 66 and share fourth with Erik van Rooyen, who shot 74, which left him just two shots outside the play-off on 12-under par.

"To make the Ryder Cup team, you have to win tournaments", Knox said.

McIlroy is looking to recapture his best form after failing to make the cut at the U.S Open last month.

"I drove it great, gave myself plenty of chances, and had one putt been one inch either way". The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers qualified. But I hit some great shots, and the putter was just hot.