Dead-eyed Knox beats Fox in Irish Open playoff

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       Highlights from the final round of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Ballyliffin

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

The 32 year old holed an 18-footer on the first, added another birdie on the next and then put his second to eight feet on the fourth to set up an eagle.

While disappointed at not winning Fox still earns almost $1.5 million for finishing runner-up and will tee off in the third major of the year the Open at Carnoustie in two weeks time.

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. But with Van Rooyen racing clear with a 66, a costly bogey-6 at 17 made his job that much harder for Sunday's finale.

Not wanting to miss out, Knox hit a monster birdie to take a share of the four way lead.

Then in the play-off he had an nearly similar putt to extend the play-off but his effort lipped out and Russell Knox was able to celebrate a first Irish Open win.

Two years ago, European captain Darren Clarke opted not to hand US-based Knox a wild card as he instead picked Lee Westwood, Thomas Pieters and Martin Kaymer. He will now head to Carnoustie full of confidence and has thrown his hat in the ring for a place in Europe's Ryder Cup team.

The New Zealander also acknowledged that this time of the year on the European Tour clearly suits his game as he finds a rich vein of form for the second year in a row.

Fox left himself a putt to win it.

Rory McIlroy discusses improvements in his game during the final two rounds of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

After struggling badly on the greens over the opening three days, McIlroy was happier with his putting performance in a round which included three successive birdies from the 11th.

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

"He sent a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week so it was a good little reminder that attitude is important and it seemed to help today", McIlroy joked.

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

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