Knox springs Shang­hai sur­prise for maiden WGC win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SHANG­HAI: Rus­sell Knox fired a fi­nal round four-un­der-par 68 to win the WGCHSBC Cham­pi­ons event on his World Golf Cham­pi­onships de­but yes­ter­day, the Scot fin­ish­ing two shots clear of Kevin Kis­ner at the She­shan In­ter­na­tional Golf Club.

The only player not to com­plete his third round in fad­ing light on Satur­day, Knox re­turned to the course early on Sun­day and birdied the par-five 18th to join Amer­i­can Kis­ner at the top of the leader­board af­ter 54 holes.

The 30-year-old then used some supreme wedge play to off­set two bo­geys with six birdies on his way to a 20-un­der 268 to­tal to be­come the first Scot to win a WGC event and also the first debu­tant to claim vic­tory since Jeff Mag­gert in 1999.

“China is now my favourite place in the world,” Knox said af­ter record­ing his maiden U.S. PGA and Euro­pean Tour tri­umph.

“I can’t wait to come back here. For me, this now my favourite golf course and I’m over the moon.

“It sounds un­be­liev­able. I al­ways kind of thought I was go­ing to win a big one, for some rea­son, as my first one. I have been close a few times be­fore but yes, it’s go­ing to take a long time to sink in,” added the Florida-based Scot. Kis­ner again fell ag­o­nis­ingly short of claim­ing a first PGA Tour vic­tory af­ter sign­ing off with a 70 to reg­is­ter his fourth run­ner-up fin­ish of the year, the other three all com­ing in play­offs.

Danny Wil­lett fin­ished with the best round of the week, fir­ing 10 birdies in his splen­did 62 to join fel­low Bri­ton Ross Fisher (68) in a tie for third on 17-un­der and main­tain his pur­suit of Rory McIl­roy in the Euro­pean Tour Race to Dubai.

“It’s spe­cial shoot­ing 62 at home with the lads, it’s al­ways nice, but in a World Golf Cham­pi­onships on a Sun­day when it means some­thing a bit more, ob­vi­ously it’s that lit­tle bit more spe­cial,” the 28-year-old said.

World num­ber three McIl­roy, who strug­gled with food poi­son­ing at the start of the week, ended his tour­na­ment with a 30-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 66 as the North­ern Ir­ish­man fin­ished just out­side the top 10 on 14-un­der.

Jor­dan Spi­eth, who siz­zled with a 63 on Satur­day, carded a dis­ap­point­ing 70 to tie for sev­enth on 15-un­der but the Amer­i­can will have the con­so­la­tion of leapfrog­ging ab­sent Aus­tralian Ja­son Day at the top of the world rank­ings to­day. —Reuters

SHANG­HAI: Rus­sell Knox of Scot­land poses with his tro­phy af­ter win­ning the WGCHSBC Cham­pi­ons golf tour­na­ment in Shang­hai. — AFP

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