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Rory McIlroy's putting might be coming around, but if he was looking for inspiration he got it in spades as Russell Knox claimed the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open with two putts for eternity at Ballyliffin.

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

The Scotsman needed to hole his 40-foot birdie putt on Ballyliffin's 18th hole to get to 14 under and a chance of a playoff with New Zealand's Ryan Fox.

The New Zealander had that putt for the title but missed on the high side and the pair were left to go back up the last.

However, after a superb approach at 13 saw him stuff it within three feet for birdie, he found the bunker on the next hole, dropping a shot as Knox knocked one close to tie him atop the leaderboard once more.

Knox, winning his second European Tour title, arrived in Ireland in good shape after finishing second at last week's French Open.

"I hit two great putts on 18 which grazed the edge and one came back at me", said Fox.

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The Inverness man punched the air with delight after becoming the first Scot since Colin Montgomerie in 2001 to win the event, but it was hard not to feel for Fox. Like, just react.' I mean, I pured the putt. "I'm just lucky to win one of these massive events, so thank you very much to Rolex".

After opening with a bogey Sunday Fox hit back with a brilliant eagle at the fourth to turn 1-under then, as he had done all week, made a back nine charge with four birdies against a lone dropped shot.

"I drove it great, gave myself plenty of chances, and had one putt been one inch either way".

Knox said at the presentation ceremony: "It's why I play golf, all the practice, all the misses, all the bad moments are taken care of with putts like that".

Fox went into the final round of the Irish Open at Ballyliffen in Donegal four shots behind leader South African Erik van Rooyan.

Jorge Campillo (65) was in third place, a shot further back, and defending champion Jon Rahm was in a share of fourth after a 66. He closed with a 71 and finished the week on two under par, 12 adrift of Knox and Fox.

Na, who is a real Marmite golfer (you either hate his slow play or you love the determination he demonstrates) birdied six of his first 10 holes to open up a big lead over Kraft on the Old White TPC in West Virginia.


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