Slow and steady Russell Knox’s mantra after Irish Open win

Russell Knox will favour slow, steady improvement over any urge to seek rapid progression after returning to the world’s top 50 following his extraordinary victory in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Knox holed from 40 feet for birdie across the 18th green in regulation to join Ryan Fox on 14 under par, the New Zealander then missing from eight feet for a birdie of his own to win the title. 

And when the players returned to the 18th for a sudden-death play-off the situation was repeated, Knox holing from almost exactly the same place for birdie before Fox saw his attempt from close range catch the edge of the hole and spin out.

The victory is Knox’s first since 2016 and takes him from 87th in the world rankings to 49th, as well as firmly into contention for a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team in Paris in September.

And the 33-year-old Scot believes he has learned his lesson from the aftermath of that previous win in the Travelers Championship, which saw him reach a career-high of 18th in the rankings.

“I think I tried to get better too quickly. I’ve kind of preached to myself and younger players my whole career that you just kind of get better slowly without almost forcing it, without trying to get better.

“You just naturally evolve as a golfer.”

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