The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and Dundee)
Home win would top lot for Knox
Inverness golfer Russell Knox believes winning the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart would top his world championship success in China last year.
The 30-year-old made the most of a late place in November’s World Golf Championship HSBC in Shanghai to claim his breakthrough victory.
Knox played in the past two Scottish Opens at Gullane Links and Royal Aberdeen, but passed up an invitation to play at Castle Stuart in 2013 in order to focus on winning a full card on the PGA Tour.
There will be a big cross on his calendar for this year’s event, though.
He said: “I wanted to play there so badly but I was struggling to keep my card in the US at the time so I had a horrible decision to make.
“Ultimately it has worked out fine but at the time I was going back and forth – and when I made up my mind I was still 100% convinced I’d made the wrong decision not to come and play.
“I’m very happy I managed to play well and it’s taken care of itself now.”
“If I could win at Castle Stuart it would be the biggest win of my career,” added Knox.
“Of course winning the WGC event in China was massive for my career, but everyone dreams of winning in their home town and I’d love that to come true for me.
“Just to play is going to be amazing, but if I can play well and get to lift the trophy at the end it would be a huge bonus.”
American Rickie Fowler has confirmed he will not defend his title.
But Knox says there is no chance he would allow the chance to participate at Castle Stuart pass him by once again.
He said: “This is one of the biggest tournaments I could ever play. To come home to Inverness and play as a professional for the first time is something I thought could never happen. I can’t wait.
“I’ve taken a lot of encouragement from my form and recent result at the Irish Open where I finished tied second.
“Playing in Ireland with Rory McIlroy made me look forward to Castle Stuart because he was the heavy home favourite with the crowd, so I’m hoping I’ll have the same backing.”