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Final Irish Open leaderboard

Final Irish Open leaderboard

The final Irish Open leaderboard from Ballyliffin, where Russell Knox was victorious

 

Final Irish Open leaderboard 2018:

PositionNameNationScore
1Russell KnoxScotland-14 *
2Ryan FoxNew Zealand-14
3Jorge CampilloSpain-13
T4Jon Rahm
Erik van Rooyen
Spain
South Africa
-12
T6Zander Lombard
Andy Sullivan
Danny Willett
Thorbjorn Olesen
South Africa
England
England
Denmark
-9
T10Matthieu Pavon
Raphael Jacquelin
France
France
-8
* – Knox defeated Fox with a birdie on the first playoff hole

Irish Open report

Russell Knox defeated Ryan Fox in a playoff at a drama-packed Irish Open to win at Ballyliffin.

The Scot drained a huge birdie putt on the 18th to set the clubhouse target at 14-under-par, which was matched just minutes later by the huge-hitting Kiwi.

And on the first playoff hole at the 18th, after narrowly missing the fairway bunker with his tee shot, Knox played his approach into almost the exact same spot from which he had made his lengthy putt in regulation.

The result? A near identical result to force Fox to make his putt, which burned the left-edge.

Fox will be feeling aggrieved after seemingly being in control, but few will begrudge this victory from Knox, who went agonisingly close at this very tournament just two years ago.

Knox, who plays the majority of his golf on the PGA Tour, may have been the beneficiary of plenty of good fortune in the playoff, but he deserved his spot against Fox after posting a fine round of 66.

He got off the mark with an eagle at the fourth hole on his way to a front-nine 32, and then made four birdies on the back-nine, finalised with that incredible putt on the 18th.

Fox, who was playing in the penultimate group alongside Danny Willett, birdied the par-5 17th and headed to the final hole in the knowledge that a birdie would see him lift his first European Tour title.

In the circumstances, the New Zealander played it almost to perfection. After blasting his drive down the fairway, he hit his approach to eight feet. The putt just missed on the right.

There was also disappointment for the overnight leader, Erik Van Rooyen, who didn’t look comfortable with front-running from the off. When the South African made three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the front-nine, he’d face an uphill battle to try and claw his way back to the leaders. A combination of wild tee shots, wayward approaches and the occasional missed short putt meant he could only get within two shots.

Spain’s Jorge Campillo continued his fine form of late to post a rollercoaster final round 65, which included two eagles and five birdies. A superb par-save at the 18th got him in the clubhouse at 13-under-par, agonisingly just one shot short of the eventual playoff.

And the defending champion Jon Rahm will be ruing his triple-bogey at the second hole after missing the playoff by only two shots. After his error-strewn seven, Rahm made an eagle and seven birdies – including four straight to close the round – to sign for a 66 and a share for fourth place.

So what happened to Rory McIlroy? Read Keel Timmins’ full round-up from Ballyliffin here

What did you make of the finish? Were there any surprises on the final leaderboard at the 2018 Irish Open? Let us know your thoughts with a post on X, formerly Twitter!

Matt Coles

Matt Coles

Mention a European country, and Matt will tell you which resorts make the National Club Golfer Top 100s: European Resorts list. He might even throw in who designed the golf course and how many rooms the hotel has got at each one…

Matt got into the game of golf from a young age, following his old man to the local golf club. He fell for the sport, and now can’t seem to go a day without thinking about how to improve his game (Thanks Dad!). Matt has been a member of Howley Hall GC in Leeds since 2020, and is just about managing to maintain a single-figure handicap. He likes to remind people that he once broke 75, but won’t tell people that it was on a shortened course during the winter.

He moved to Leeds after graduating from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class Honours degree in Sports Journalism. Matt joined NCG after almost five years travelling the world with the Professional Squash Association, working on events in all four corners of the globe.

Matt currently plays a Cobra King LTDx driver and RadSpeed 3-wood. TaylorMade monopolise the rest of his bag, with a SIM UDI, M5 irons and both Milled Grind and HI-TOE wedges, along with a Monza Redline putter. He uses a Vice Pro Plus golf ball, because he’s a bit different…

Away from golf, Matt is a Manchester United fan, and a keen runner, having ran the Rob Burrow Leeds Marathon (his first and possibly last), in May 2023.

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