Sunday 18 August 2019

Russell Knox bowled over by Shanghai surprise

Russell Knox claimed victory in the WGC-HSBC Champions
Russell Knox claimed victory in the WGC-HSBC Champions

Russell Knox declared his historic achievement "a dream come true" after he marked his World Golf Championship debut by claiming the HSBC Champions title in Shanghai by two shots.

The 30-year-old, a late replacement for JB Holmes, also became the first Scot to win a WGC event as he posted a final-round 68 to finish on 20 under par, ahead of American Kevin Kisner (70).

And Knox said afterwards: "It's incredible. I always hoped (a win) was going to happen but you're just never sure. There's just so many unbelievable players on tours all around the world and to win on this stage is a dream come true. I still can't quite believe it.

"Deep down in my bones I felt I was capable of winning. I thought it was going to be maybe another year, but I'm glad it happened now."

Third place was shared between the English duo of Ross Fisher (68) and Danny Willett, who rampaged through the field with a superb round of 62.

It saw Willett close the gap on Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai rankings with two tournaments to go. McIlroy finished the Shanghai event joint 11th on 14 under having shot 66.

McIlroy will not feature in next week's BMW Masters and if second-placed Willett can claim a top-25 finish there, he will usurp the Northern Irishman in the rankings ahead of the finale in Dubai.

Willett said of his Shanghai effort: "It's very special. It's special shooting 62 at home with the lads, but in a World Golf Championship on a Sunday when it means something a bit more, obviously it's that little bit more special.

"It could be big for me in the Race to Dubai, especially with Rory not playing next week, I could gain a few more points on him and give me a nice buzz going into the next week into Dubai."

McIlroy said: "I feel like I played well enough to win this week. I just didn't hole enough putts and that's sort of been the story of my season, well, at least, for the last couple of months anyway.

"But it's getting better. I feel like every tournament I play, I'm getting a little bit better and hopefully I can continue in that trend and go into Dubai and play well again."

Home favourite Li Hao-tong was among a group of players to finish seventh alongside the United States' Jordan Spieth, who returned to the world number one spot.

PA Media

The Throw-In All-Ireland Hurling Final preview: Can Tipp's firepower edge clash with the Cats?

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport