Just as much as he did after winning the WGC-HSBC Champions in Singapore last November, Russell Knox did Scotland proud by the way he handled becoming the latest victim of the notorious 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during the Players’ Championship.
The 30-year-old was going along very nicely, sitting at eight-under during the third round, when he ran up a sextuple-bogey 9, his horror show at one of the game’s iconic holes including three visits, one caused by a shank, to the water that surrounds the island green.
“Shank you very much for all the nice messages. Looking forward to getting my revenge today!” wrote Knox on Twitter before heading out for his final round, a feat he achieved, albeit with his only bogey of the day in a closing 68.
As his tee shot safely found the green on this occasion, the Scot threw up his arms in mock celebration, though he admitted afterwards it had been a huge relief to put the events of the previous day to bed, so to speak. “I’ve never been so nervous over a shot in my whole life,” he said. “It was a career- defining moment for me. If I couldn’t get off the tee there today, I was in big trouble.”
Knox has already endeared himself to the American media with his affable nature and they love him even more now over the way he handled this sticky situation, one that can either make you laugh or cry.
Having climbed back into the world’s top 30, Knox is becoming a stronger contender for one of Darren Clarke’s Ryder Cup wild-cards as the season really starts to crank up, with two events on this side of the Atlantic – the Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship – next up for the Inverness player.