8am Round-Up: Russell Knox honoured with new Junior Open

The Russell Knox Junior Open will alternate between Inverness and Nairn Dunbar, two clubs where the Scottish No 1 is an honorary member. Picture: Getty Images
The Russell Knox Junior Open will alternate between Inverness and Nairn Dunbar, two clubs where the Scottish No 1 is an honorary member. Picture: Getty Images
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Scottish No 1 Russell Knox has welcomed a move by the two clubs closest to his heart to jointly stage a Junior Open in recognition of his achievements.

The Russell Knox Junior Open will alternate between Inverness and Nairn Dunbar, two clubs where the 31-year-old is an honorary member.

To be held at Inverness this year on 11 July, it is open to both boys and girls, with scratch and handicap prizes up for grabs.

“For some time, we have been thinking about how best to recognise the achievements in world golf of Russell,” said Inverness president Gordon Fyfe.

“Something to inspire young golfers. So, we have joined forces with Nairn Dunbar Golf Club to introduce a new trophy for junior golfers in the North.

“The Russell Knox Trophy will be presented to the junior boy or girl recording the best scratch score at an annual event, which will alternate between Inverness and Nairn Dunbar.

“It is being recognised by the North District Golf Association as an Order of Merit event and there will be handicap prizes up for grabs as well.”

Knox was junior champion and junior captain at Nairn Dunbar before going on to win the club championship on three occasions from 2002.

At Inverness, he won the Inverness 4-day Open on three successive years (2004-2006).

“I am truly honoured that my former clubs are recognising my achievements in this way,” said Knox.

“I learned my golf while growing up in the Highlands and owe so much to these early days.”

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Former world No 1 Luke Donald has applauded the R&A and USGA for indicating that the use of greens maps could soon be outlawed.

The game’s two governing bodies issued a joint-statement saying they are “concerned” about how the detailed computer-generated graphs are taking away an “essential part of the skill of putting”.

“Totally agree,” wrote Donald on Twitter. “There is an art to green reading that is getting lost, just like judging the wind & this will help speed up play.”

The maps have become increasing popular among the game’s leading players, preferring to refer to the information they provide about undulations rather than trusting their own eye when reading the line of putts.

“The R&A and the USGA believe that a player’s ability to read greens is an essential part of the skill of putting,” said the statement issued by the game’s two ruling bodies.

“Rule 14-3 limits the use of equipment and devices that might assist a player in their play, based on the principle that golf is a challenging game in which success should depend on the judgement, skills and abilities of the player.

“We are concerned about the rapid development of increasingly detailed materials that players are using to help with reading greens during a round.

“We are reviewing the use of these materials to assess whether any actions need to be taken to protect this important part of the game. We expect to address this matter further in the coming months.”

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Swede Jonas Blixt and Australian Cameron Smith won the Zurich Classic of New Orleans title after a play-off with Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown.

Blixt and Smith looked to have the first official team event on the PGA Tour in 36 years sewn up on Sunday, before a remarkable finish saw the long-time leaders caught at the last.

Kisner had stunned his opponents by chipping in for an eagle from 95 feet to force extra holes, although darkness at TPC Louisiana meant they had to return on Monday to play them.

Playing fourballs, the quartet all parred the first two attempts at sudden-death down the 18th.

The play-off reverted to the ninth, where Sweden’s Blixt pitched to five feet only to then fluff his putt for the win.

However, on the third trip down the 18th, Australian Smith knocked his approach to two feet and birdied to seal his first PGA Tour title and Blixt’s third.

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Kilmacolm’s Matthew Clark picked up the Edward Trophy for the second time in five years after storming to a seven-shot success at Gailes Links in Ayrshire.

In windy conditions, the Scottish international carded rounds of 71 and 69 for a two-under-par aggregate as he repeated his 2013 triumph in the event.

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Steven O’Hara (North Lanarkshire Leisure) shot a two-under-par 68 to win the PGA in Scotland’s Young Professionals’ Order of Merit Sprint Series event at Linlithgow.

The triumph came a few days after his younger brother, Paul, had won the Tartan Tour qualifier at Ladybank for this year’s Titleist & Footjoy PGA Professionals Championship.