European Tour

Knox hoping for happy homecoming at Gullane

Russell Knox (Getty Images)
Russell Knox (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Man of the moment Russell Knox is bidding to become the first back-to-back Rolex Series winner as he prepares to tee it up on home soil for the Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club.

Following a runner-up finish at the Open de France, Knox secured his first Rolex Series victory last week at the Irish Open in thrilling fashion as he sank a 40-foot birdie putt to beat Ryan Fox in a play-off.

"After last week, such a high, the main goal this week, and also next week, is just to enjoy my time here and if I can replicate any kind of form the last few weeks, it will be a huge bonus," said Knox.

"I'm tired to be brutally honest. It was obviously amazing. It wouldn't change anything. I played a lot of golf, but ultimately winning in Ireland makes up for everything, all the hard work I've put in.

"So it's been good. I'm tired now, but couldn't really have worked out any better, coming back to Scotland for two weeks, because obviously I'll be up for these next two tournaments, naturally being back home. So it's been a roller coaster ride but all good," he said.

He now returns to Scotland's Golf Coast hoping to improve on his best finish of tenth place at the Scottish Open - which he recorded here at Gullane in 2015 and again at Castle Stuart the following year.

"I've played almost 200 events now. Probably 160, 170 events, on the PGA and European Tour and I've won three times. I'm going to definitely enjoy every time I can finish first. It almost takes the pressure off this week and next week," said Knox.

"I mean, being that I was able to win, obviously I'm here to try and win this week. Every week you play, you try to finish your best but you need to enjoy what just happened, and so I'm not going to forget that any time soon."

The 33-year-old will tee it up alongside reigning Masters winner Patrick Reed, who is making his third appearance in Scotland's national open, and Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter.

Former Scottish Open champions in the field include 2015 victor Rickie Fowler, who returns to the course where he won his first European Tour title, and 2014 champion and current World No 3 Justin Rose.

Five-time Major Champion Phil Mickelson, winner of the Scottish Open in 2013, also joins the world-class field which has assembled in East Lothian.

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