Given a reality check just when he needed it. That’s how Russell Knox looks at his sore Sunday in the Scottish Open as he gets set to spearhead a five-strong Scots contingent in the Open Championship.
Two off the lead heading into the final round at Gullane, where he was bidding to make it back-to-back wins after landing the Irish Open at Ballyliffin seven days earlier, the 33-year-old quickly fell out of contention after taking a double-bogey 6 at the first.
After a closing 75, he ended up joint 49th on six-under, finishing 14 shots behind the winner, Brandon Stone, but, while disappointed to miss out on his best chance yet in his home Open, Knox is looking at the positives for his Claret Jug challenge at Carnoustie.
“I’m actually delighted I played terrible on Sunday. It knocks me down to reality, to be honest,” said the Inveresian in typically fortright fashion. “Now I can really hit the reset button and get on with it next week.
“If things had gone easily on Sunday, I played decent and not won I probably still would have felt it took more out of me. Sunday took nothing out of me, playing that bad. So I can just rest up the next couple of days and recharge for Carnoustie.”
After a recent busy schedule, Knox is planning on a light preparation this week. “I’ve got no choice, with the amount of golf I’ve played,” he added. “If I went out there and prepared like a madman I’d just be running myself into the ground.
“It has worked for me in the past, but there is no right preparation. You can play 18 holes a day for a month and shoot 82 the first round. There’s no magic recipe, you just need a bit of luck and good play. My goal is my best major finish, beating a tie for 12th at the US Open a few weeks back.”