Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Russell Knox Final Round Winning Highlights | 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

Russell Knox Final Round Winning Highlights | 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open

New Zealand's Ryan Fox has come agonisingly close to winning the STG5.3-million ($A9.5-million) Irish Open, losing in a playoff to Scotland's Russel Knox at the Ballyliffin Golf Club.

It was a wonderful conclusion to a tournament that was hugely successful.

Knox holed from 40 feet for birdie across the 18th green in regulation to join Fox at the top of the leaderboard, the New Zealander then missing from eight feet for a birdie of his own to win the title.

Fox's putt dramatically lipped out for his birdie to force a second playoff hole and gave Knox the win.

Rory McIlroy has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his US Open campaign as he seeks a first major title since 2014 in next week's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

"To make a putt like that, it's a dream come true", the 33-year-old told europeantour.com.

"The putts have been going in these last couple of weeks and I just had a great feeling on the greens and I wasn't really aiming but just reacting to the line of the putt", said Knox.

"I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events, so thank you very much to Rolex". Knox made his first red number of the day via birdie-2 at 5 before he added a second circle at 8. "I'm happy, I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, felt comfortable out there and it was close".

Earlier, overnight leader Erik van Rooyen - who started the day with a four stroke lead - conspired to post a two over 74 and fall out of contention. Andy Sullivan and Zander Lombard took the other two places after finishing tied-sixth.

"To make that team, you have to win tournaments".

Knox then birdied the sixth and after three straight pars but then after a birdie 3 at the 10th the Scot found himself in a four-way share of the lead on 12-under par. A bogey followed on the next but a 20-footer on the 12th had him in the leading group at 12 under.

"He also sent me a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week", laughed the four-time major victor. The leading four players not already exempt from the top-12 finishers qualified.

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