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12 July 2018, 02:41 | Anna Jefferson
Russell Knox celebrates his birdie putt on the 18th hole
Fox lost in a dramatic playoff to Scotland's Russell Knox who rolled in almost-identical birdie putts from around 40 feet on the 72nd hole and the first playoff hole to win the tournament early Monday (NZT).
It was a wonderful conclusion to a tournament that was hugely successful.
Knox holed from 40 feet for birdie across the 18th green in regulation to join Fox at the top of the leaderboard, the New Zealander then missing from eight feet for a birdie of his own to win the title.
He began the day six shots off the lead but closed with a six-under 66, holing an outrageous 40-footer on the final green to set the target at 14-under, before holing a almost identical putt to break Fox's heart in sudden death.
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". "I hit the shots I wanted to down the stretch, I felt comfortable out there and it was close".
"That's why you play golf, to hole a putt like that on the last hole".
"Last year was a tough one for me but I stuck with it".
Fox shot 68 to Knox's 66, with Jorge Campillo going round in 65 to finish one off the pace at 13 under.
Knox also qualifies for The Open as a result of his triumph, along with Zander Lombard and Andy Sullivan, who finished joint-sixth and were the highest-placed players not already in the field for Carnoustie.
Six shots off the lead at the start of play, Knox made the ideal start with an eagle at the par five fourth, where his fabulous approach finished 8ft from the flag.
South African Van Rooyen entered the day with a four-shot lead and while he birdied the fourth, bogeys at sixth, seventh and ninth meant he had been caught by Campillo at the turn.
McIlroy struggled with his putting during the first two rounds but was pleased to see his fortunes improve of the greens on his way to a tied-28th finish.
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