Published: Wed, July 11, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Rory McIlroy notices improvements in his game ahead of The Open

Rory McIlroy notices improvements in his game ahead of The Open

And when the players returned to the 18th for a sudden-death play-off the situation was remarkably repeated, Knox holing from an nearly identical place for birdie before Fox saw his attempt catch the edge of the hole and spin out. "I just remember standing over it and thought just don't aim, just hit the putt and see what happens and I flushed the putt". "I hit the ball the best I've hit it on Thursday and I felt like I sort of kept it up".

Rory McIlroy has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his US Open campaign as he seeks a first major title since 2014 in next week's Open Championship at Carnoustie.

For Fox, who is one of the longest hitters on the European Tour, it is a fifth top-10 finish in Rolex Series events and he has the consolation of securing a place at the Open Championship, 12 months after achieving the same feat at this event.

"I remember thinking as soon as I hit it, "oh, I've hit it a bit firm", and it just started tracking and it dropped, unbelievable".

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.

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Defending champion Jon Rahm tied for fourth, while tournament host Rory McIlroy closed with a 71 and tied for 28th. His long birdie putt curled left to right and into the cup. "Tough to describe how awesome this feels", Knox said.

The overnight leader, South African, Erik Van Rooyen, found the going tough and the pack chipped away at his lead, as he carded a couple of bogeys in his first nine.

With the win came a cheque for $998,425, and some very valuable Ryder Cup points.

The Scot rolled in a 40 foot putt on the final green in regulation to tie with Fox at the top of the leaderboard on 14 under for the tournament. "My focus is on trying to qualify for the team", added Knox.

After being joined on 13 under by Knox and Campillo, Fox had a glorious chance to moved two ahead again with a 12-foot eagle chance at the 17th but the putt slipped by to leave him one ahead. I've done it before in the USA on the last hole, 12 feet.

"He also sent me a couple of videos of my body language after all the missed putts this week", laughed the four-time major victor. His huge fist-pump said it all. And that wasn't even the most astonishing part.

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