Donegal Golf - DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH OPEN

Russell Knox wins in play-off in dramatic Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin

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Staff reporter

Reporter:

Staff reporter

Russell Knox wins in play-off in dramatic Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Ballyliffin

Russell Knox - Irish Open champion

In one of the most dramatic finishes ever, Scot Russell Knox took home the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open prize after a play-off with New Zealander Ryan Fox.
Knox had to hole a 40 foot on his final hole to get into the play-off, and he repeated the feat on the first play-off hole (the 18th) landing an almost identical putt, which proved good enough.
It was tough on New Zealander, Ryan Fox, who had been close to the head of the leaderboard throughout the competition. The son of former All Black outhalf, Grant Fox, had a chance to win the top prize on his final hole but just didn't hole out from 10 feet.
Then in the play-off he had an almost similar putt to extend the play-off but his effort lipped out and Russell Knox was able to celebrate a first Irish Open win.
It was a fantastic final day in front of a massive crowd. The overnight leader, South African, Erik Van Rooyen, found the going tough and the pack chipped away at his lead, as he carded a couple of bogeys in his first nine.
Then when it came to the home straight first of all Jorge Campillo of Spain set the mark finishing on -13 and was the clubhouse leader.
Reigning champion, Jon Rahm, despite carding a 7 on his second hole, roared back and almost reached the magic -13 mark, coming up just one short.
It was then left to Knox and he delivered in the final holes to set the mark at -14, which was equalled by Ryan Fox, but in the play-off the Scot proved himself with that repeat 40 foot putt.
It was a fantastic finish to a fantastic tournament. Unfortunately, there were no Irish involved with Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry finishing on -2, some 12 shots off the winning total.
Paul Dunne and Graeme McDowell carded rounds of 71 as they finished on even par for the tournament.

While the Irish did not do well, Donegal and Ballyliffin shone brightly. What an advertisement for golf and for Donegal.