Russell Knox hopes it's '˜very difficult' for Darren Clarke not to pick him

Russell Knox is hoping it will be 'very difficult' for Darren Clarke not to pick the Scot for next month's Ryder Cup after his second PGA Tour win in the space of nine months

Russell Knox celebrates after holing a 12-foot putt on the last hole to win the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. Picture: Getty Images
Russell Knox celebrates after holing a 12-foot putt on the last hole to win the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. Picture: Getty Images

The 31-year-old holed a 12-foot par putt on the 18th at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, to secure a one-shot win over Jerry Kelly in the Travelers Championship with a 14-under-par 266 total.

The victory, which follows his HSBC Champions success in Shanghai last November, sees Knox join Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott as the only multiple winners on the US circuit this season.

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It has lifted him to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings and he’s also climbed to 18th in the world rankings, leaving just five Europeans - Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Danny Willett, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose - higher than him.

On the Ryder Cup front, it looks as though the win will see Knox climb 10 spots to 10th on Europe’s world points list, sitting just behind Matt Fitzpatrick, who currently occupies the last automatic spot for the match at Hazeltine at the end of next month.

“I thought about it on the last tee, to be honest,” admitted the Scot of his hopes of playing in the biennial clash for the first time. “I knew by winning this tournament, it’s put Darren Clarke in a very difficult position not to pick me. I think.

“But it’s his decision. If I don’t make the team, I can’t think I’m worthy of a pick. He can pick whoever he wants, and that’s the luxury of it.

“If I make the top nine, then I deserve to be on the team. If I’m No 10, he can quite happily pass on me, and that’s just the way it is.”

Knox would already have secured automatic qualification if he’d secured points for that win in China, but it wasn’t until after that he took up European Tour membership, which is a requirement to be eligible for the Ryder Cup.

“I hope I’m on the team. I would love to be there. It would be a huge honour. Maybe holing nice putts like that helps,” he added.

Knox started the final round three shots behind playing partner Daniel Berger before finding himself with a two-shot advantage following back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th

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He dropped a shot at the 16th before finding a greenside bunker with his approach at the last but managed to get up and down, tossing his hat across the green in celebration.

“It’s amazing,” he said. “To make that putt, I mean, it’s just the greatest feeling ever. I wish I could share it with you.

“I think it’s big to win for a second time. Now I can start believing in myself even more.

“I made it a big deal. I finished second three times since I’ve won and I really wanted to get another one so I could really show myself that I can win multiple times. And to do it in one season is pretty amazing.

“Fred Funk is my idol and when he won The Players he had the famous hat throw, and then Tiger has obviously done it at Bay Hill once or twice.

“You’re never thinking, okay, if this goes in I’m going to throw my hat. But I felt like the Incredible Hulk when it went in. I could have ripped my shirt off.”

After getting himself into contention at the halfway stage in this event, Knox had joked about being “The Beast” when asked about having had a gruelling schedule this summer.

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“I don’t know where that came from, but I’m a bigger beast now for making that putt.” he said, laughing. “I’ve joked with a few people that I’m a beast, and I think it’s because I’m the opposite of a beast, to be honest.

“But maybe I am a beast because it worked. If I keep saying it, maybe I’ll win more.”