Russell Knox not going rest on laurels after China win

Graeme McDowell to finish his season on the PGA Tour at Mexico’s OHL Classic

Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell missed out on the Race to Dubai finale in Europe this year. Photograph: Getty Images.

Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell missed out on the Race to Dubai finale in Europe this year. Photograph: Getty Images.

 

Scotland’s Russell Knox will continue his globetrotting start to the season in Mexico this week as he looks to capitalise on his breakthrough victory in the WGC-HSBC Champions.

Knox could have been forgiven for resting on his laurels after claiming his first PGA Tour title and the first prize of €1,300,000 in Shanghai on Sunday, carding a final round of 68 to hold off the likes of world number one Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson.

The 30-year-old from Inverness has honoured his commitment to contest the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen, his fifth event of the Tour’s 2015/’16 wraparound season.

Knox began his campaign by missing the cut in the Frys.com Open in California, finished 38th in Las Vegas seven days later and then claimed a share of 21st in the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.

It was during the tournament in Kuala Lumpur that Knox discovered he would make his World Golf Championship debut the following week after initially being seventh reserve, meaning his wife Andrea had to spend most of the day at the Chinese embassy to arrange their visas.

Knox has been paired with Peter Malnati and Matt Kuchar for the first two rounds in Mexico, Malnati becoming the fifth first-time winner in five events on the PGA Tour this season by claiming the weather-affected Sanderson Farms Championship on Monday.

Kuchar is making his first start of the PGA Tour season, although he did win the Fiji International last month, a week after helping the United States retain the Presidents Cup in Korea.

“I remember the course being a very good, demanding golf course,” said the world number 16, who is making his first appearance in the event since finishing joint third in 2008.

‘Big penalty’

“The thing that stands out most is how demanding a driving course this is. The fairways are plenty wide enough, but there seems to be a lot of holes where you have mangroves on either side so if you do miss a drive, it’s a big penalty.

“Driving the ball well is a priority here and that’s one of the strong suits of my game and kind of a reason I have done well here.”

Graeme McDowell, who missed out on the Race to Dubai finale in Europe, is finishing his season on the PGA Tour and is in this week’s field.

OHL Classic at Mayakoba, Mexico (Sky Sports 4, 6pm)

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