Rory McIlroy: Learning from previous mistakes ahead of The Open

After finishing second in 2016 when Rory McIlroy pulled off two of the great shots of his career to beat him, Russell Knox knew only too well that astounding golf was invariably required to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

Erik van Rooyen led by four overnight but fell away with a final-round 74.

Knox put his second shot in a position nearly identical to the one he found on the 72nd hole and rolled it home again, with Fox missing his own birdie attempt from 12 feet.

Fox and Knox produced as many twists as Dr Seuss envisioned, going back and forth in a thrilling final day, and while it was Knox (stay with me) coming out on top, Fox didn't have many complaints as he claimed second and the $1.1 million New Zealand dollars which came with it (€ 665,614).

McIlroy will spend several days in London at the start of this week before stepping up his preparation for Carnoustie, where he made his Open debut as an 18-year-old and won the silver medal for leading amateur.

Fox missed a 10-foot putt to win on the 72nd hole as he signed for a 68 to also finish on 14 under at Ballyliffin.

While disappointed at not winning Fox still earns almost $1.5 million for finishing runner-up and will tee off in the third major of the year the Open at Carnoustie in two weeks time.

Knox also qualifies for The Open as a result of his triumph, along with Zander Lombard and Andy Sullivan, who finished joint-sixth and were the highest-placed players not already in the field for Carnoustie.

Campillo sandwiched a birdie on the 13th with bogeys on the 11th and 16th but an eagle from 40 feet on the 17th had him in a share of the lead, where he was soon joined by Van Rooyen who birdied the 13th. That's why I play golf.

McIlroy struggled with his putting during the first two rounds but was pleased to see his fortunes improve of the greens on his way to a tied-28th finish. Kraft, Snedeker, Kokrak and Austin Cook earned spots in The Open at Carnoustie.

"The greens were rock hard", Na said.

"I'm happy, and it's a bloody nice consolation to get into the Open Championship".

"The Open Championship is very important to me and I think I overreacted a little bit yesterday", McDowell said. "It was just one of those days that I felt great over the ball, and everything was going in".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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