Thursday 29 September 2016

Knox bangs on the door for Ryder Cup selection

Golf

James Corrigan

Published 09/08/2016 | 02:30

Russell Knox celebrates after the Travelers Championship golf tournament in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Fred Beckham/AP Photo
Russell Knox celebrates after the Travelers Championship golf tournament in Cromwell, Connecticut. Photo: Fred Beckham/AP Photo

It is hard to believe that Darren Clarke would not have been persuaded by Russell Knox's victory at the Travelers Championship on Sunday, but if the Europe captain still harbours any doubts about his wild-card selections for the Ryder Cup then the Scot has made it perfectly clear what he thinks.

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The 31-year-old nervelessly holed a 12-footer on the 18th in Cromwell, Connecticut, to beat America's Jerry Kelly by a shot and revealed that Hazeltine was very much on his mind on the final hole.

"Yeah, I thought about it on the last tee," Knox said. "I knew by winning this tournament, it's put Darren Clarke in a very difficult position not to pick me.

"I mean, if my points had counted from Shanghai (where he won the WGC Champions in October) that would put me on the team, so it's pretty hard for him not to pick me.

"I hope I'm on the team. It would be a huge honour. Maybe holing nice putts like that helps."

Holiday

Clarke is on holiday in the Bahamas but showed what he thought of Knox's second PGA Tour win, sending a message to the Inverness lad on Twitter. "Well done @rooknox impressive today," Clarke wrote.

Clarke is well aware that if Knox had been a member of the European Tour when prevailing in China, he would have been fifth in the standings - above England's Justin Rose - and assured of his debut.

As it is, Knox climbed from 20th to 10th and within a few points of Matt Fitzpatrick, who is clinging on in the last qualifying berth.

Lee Westwood, in 12th place, and Martin Kaymer, 13th, look certainties for two of the three wild cards and although Clarke has spoken about the dangers of having too many rookies on away soil - there are five in the automatic top nine at the moment - Knox's experience in America could override that fear.

Since attending college in Jacksonville, Florida, Knox has made his career over there and even joked that he could qualify for Davis Love's team.

"I am a US citizen. My dad was born in California, so I have dual nationality," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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