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Knox roars to WGC success

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 08-11-2015

Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty Getty © Provided by BSkyB Getty

Russell Knox upstaged the elite players in world golf to clinch an impressive two-shot victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. 

Knox fired a solid four-under 68 on the final day at the Sheshan International Golf Club to become the first Scot to win a World Golf Championship title, finishing two clear of Kevin Kisner with English pair Ross Fisher and Danny Willett sharing third.

The 30-year-old is also the first player to win a WGC title on his debut, and he more than justified his frantic dash to China after scraping into the field as an alternate when JB Holmes withdrew.

Knox had opted not to play the 18th on Saturday with darkness closing in, but he enjoyed a good start to the final day as he made a birdie at the final hole to cap a 68.

He then made a dream start to his fourth round with birdies at the second and third, but he gave a shot back at the fourth before converting an excellent tee shot to 12 feet at the sixth.

Knox dropped only his fifth shot of the tournament at the ninth, but he responded with back-to-back birdies at 10 and 11 and added another at the short 16th to maintain his two-stroke advantage.

And with none of his closest challengers able to eagle the 18th, Knox enjoyed a victory stroll and closed with a cast-iron par to secure by far the biggest payday of his career.

Kisner struggled to get much going after starting with a bogey, and a birdie at the last salvaged a 70 and earned the world No 34 outright second place on 18 under.

Willett, currently second behind Rory McIlroy in the Race to Dubai standings, enjoyed a spectacular finish as he put together the round of the tournament - a sensational 62 propelling him 22 places up the leaderboard.

The 28-year-old raced out of the blocks with birdies at each of the first four holes, and he added three in a row around the turn before giving himself an outside chance of a 59 with three birdies in four holes from the 13th.

But he had to settle for two pars and a share of third with Fisher, who carded five birdies and just one bogey - only his second blemish over the final 54 holes - in a four-under 68.

Dustin Johnson was a further shot adrift after suffering a cruel blow at the eighth. The American's third birdie of the day at the seventh had lifted his to 18 under, but he wedge approach to the next hit the base of the pin and spub back into the water.

The resulting seven took the wind out of his sails and he did well to return a 71 to finish on 16 under alongside Branden Grace, who fired an entertaining but erratic 68 featuring eight birdies and four bogeys.

British Masters champion Matt Fitzpatrick made it four sub-70 rounds as he birdied three of the last five holes to cap a flawless 67 and move to 15 under along with Jordan Spieth, who stuttered to a frustrating 70.

McIlroy managed his best round of an illness-hit week, making seven birdies in an encouraging 66 which left him just outside the top 10 on 14 under for the week.

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