July 8, 2018 / 5:21 PM / a year ago

Dead-eyed Knox beats Fox in Irish Open playoff

Golf - European Tour - Irish Open - Ballyliffin Golf Club, Ballyliffin, Ireland - July 8, 2018 New Zealand's Ryan Fox and Scotland's Russell Knox shake hands after the fourth round of the Irish Open Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough

BALLYLIFFIN, Ireland (Reuters) - Scotland’s Russell Knox sank a 40-foot putt to beat Ryan Fox of New Zealand on the first playoff hole and win the Irish Open at Ballyliffin on Sunday.

It was Knox’s second European Tour title and all the more surprising given he began the day six off the lead. But he hit a final-round 66 and Fox a 68 to reach 14 under par, one ahead of Spain’s Jorge Campillo.

South Africa’s Eric van Rooyen blew his four-shot overnight lead with a 74 for 12 under par, level with defending champion Jon Rahm, who overcame a triple bogey at the second to post an impressive 66.

Knox secured his playoff place by holing another huge putt at the 18th in his regulation round, with Fox missing a 10-foot putt that would have given him the title.

The pair played the same hole again, with Knox holing from an almost identical position while Fox missed his birdie chance from about 12 feet.

But there was consolation for Fox in claiming one of the remaining slots for the British Open at Carnoustie later this month.

Englishman Andy Sullivan and South African Zander Lombard finished joint sixth to claim Open places.

Tournament host and former world number one Rory McIlroy finished joint 28th on one-under-par with a final-day 71.

Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond

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