8am Round-Up: Russell Knox in Scottish plea at WGC Match Play

Russell Knox has asked for a Saltire to go beside his name on the main scoreboard in Austin. Picture: Jane Barlow
Russell Knox has asked for a Saltire to go beside his name on the main scoreboard in Austin. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Russell Knox has made a plea to organisers to have him flying the Saltire when he tees off in his opening game today in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Texas.

The Scottish No 1 took to Twitter last night after discovering that the main scoreboard for the £7.8 million event in Austin had an American flag beside his name.

“Come on @DellMatchPlay @PGATOUR get the Scottish flag next to my name please!!!!!!!” he wrote on the social media site.

Knox, the sole Scot in the 64-man field, faces American Bill Haas in his first match in Group 11, which also includes Masters champion Danny Willett and Korea’s K T Kim.

Making his second appearance in the event, Knox is armed this week with a new driver - a Srixon ‘Z 565’ - and feels confident he has finally found a replacement for the one he cracked in last year’s Irish Open.

“I’ve had some issues with the driver for a long time but I’ve got a new Srixon driver so I am thrilled with that,” the world No 21 told golfbytourmiss.com. “I feel the best about my equipment than I have for a long time.

“While there have been times I felt I drove it well, it just didn’t feel like my old driver, and the one I cracked at the Irish last year.”

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Stirling University scored a double triumph in being the best of British at Dundonald Links.

Part of the British Universities & Colleges Sport programme, both titles in the 11th Dundonald Tournament fell to Stirling students at the Ayrshire venue.

The event was a three-day war of attrition in testing conditions over the course that will stage both the men’s and women’s Scottish Opens this summer.

A closing 73 for a 10-over-par 226 total saw Chloe Goadby finish six shots ahead of one of her team-mates, Gemma Batty, in the women’s event.

The Dundonald double was on the cards after 36 holes but, after a dramatic final round, the men’s title was claimed by James Wilson, not overnight leader Colin Edgar.

As Edgar had to settle for a closing 81 that dropped him into a share of fourth-spot, Wilson finished tied on 226 with another Stirling player, Chris MacLean, after matching 76s before triumphing in a play-off.

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Grant Forrest showed guts to bounce back from a double-digit disaster in Morocco.

The Lothians star made it two top 20s in a row on the MENA Tour by claiming a share of 17th position behind Dutch amateur Pierre Junior Verlaar in the Royal Golf Mohammedia Open.

It was a praiseworthy effort from Forrest after he’d run up a 10 at the ninth hole at Royal Golf D’Anfa, hitting two balls out of bounds from the tee then finding water with his sixth shot.

The 23-year-old also dropped a shot at the next before responding magnificently, covering the last seven holes in four-under to salvage a 72 for a one-under-par 212 total.

Jack McDonald finished joint-31st after closing with a 70 for 216, one better than Jamie Savage, the third Scot to make the cut, after he signed off with a 71.

Eighteen-year-old Verlaar came from three shots behind heading into the final round to become just the second amateur to win on the third-tier circuit after Dubai-based Indian Rayhan Thomas.

A closing 65 for a nine-under-par total did the trick for Verlaar, who finished two shots ahead of Englishman Andrew Marshall, who also signed off with a six-under-par effort, and Morocco’s Ahmed Marjan (68).

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Two recent Scottish Hydro Challenge competitors are teaming up in the PGA Tour’s new team event next month.

Brooks Koepka, who won the Aviemore event in 2013, is joining forces with his younger brother Chase, who was in last year’s field, in the Zurich Classic in New Orleans.

“It will be fun,” said Koepka snr. “Chase has been lucky enough to get an exemption from Zurich.

“He’s very solid. He doesn’t hit it very long - about 280 - but he hits the fairways and has a good short game. He always keeps it in play and in this format you need that.”

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Five Scots are in the field for the opening Challenge Tour event of the season - the Barclays Kenya Open.

Teeing up at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, where the tournament starts tomorrow, are Craig Lee, David Law, Ross Kellett, Chris Doak and Bradley Neil.

Law is out in one of the early groups along while Neil and Doak, in contrast, are among the later starters in the opening round.