Russell Knox takes route 66 to sit one off lead in Boston

Russell Knox sits joint-second, one behind leader Justin Rose, after getting off to a strong start in Boston. Picture: Getty Images
Russell Knox sits joint-second, one behind leader Justin Rose, after getting off to a strong start in Boston. Picture: Getty Images
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Russell Knox stormed back into Europe’s Ryder Cup wild-card equation after getting off to a brilliant start in the Dell Technologies Championship, the second FedEx Cup Play-Off event, in Boston.

The Scottish No 1 carded a five-under-par 66 - his best opening round on the PGA Tour since January 2017 - to sit a shot behind Englishman Justin Rose at TPC Boston.

Knox, who needs a big performance in the event to have a realistic chance of securing one of four wildcards set to be announced by European captain Thomas Bjorn next Wednesday, signed for an eagle and five birdies.

He holed out from 109 yards with a wedge for his eagle-2 at the 15th then followed that with birdies at the 16th and 18th in a rousing finish to the round.

“It was nice,” he told golfbytourmiss.com afterwards. “I haven’t had one of those litte bang-bang runs in a while.

“It was one of those rounds I was just playing okay and all of a sudden I found a little spark and was able to get it to five-under.”

Ranked 93rd in the FedEx Cup standings heading into the event, the Invernesian needs to be inside the leading 60 at the end to qualify for next week’s BMW Championship in Philadelphia.

“This round is now a great springboard into day two and it was just nice to get through that little tough stretch and come out the other end smiling as I was,” added the Irish Open champion.

“It was also tricky out there today as the wind was swirling while some of the greens were fast and there was others very slow.

“To be honest, I thought anything under par would be a great score so to get to five-under will sure make dinner taste all that better tonight.”

Rose, who has already secured one of the eight automatic spots on Bjorn’s team, was one of only two players to sign for a bogey-free round.

Knox shares second spot with Mexican Abraham Ancer while four Americans - Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler, Keegan Bradley and Gary Woodland - make up a group tied for fourth on four-under.

Dustin Johnson and Rafa Cabrera Bello are among eight sitting on 68 while Tiger Woods struggled to keep up the form he showed at last month’s USPGA, finishing round one on 72.