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A week ago, Russell Knox wasn’t in the field for the PGA Championship – but now he’s plotting a bid for major glory.
Knox was sixth alternate and made it into the field last weekend after Paul Casey withdrew.
He’s now acquainting himself with Southern Hills ahead of this week’s championship, which begins tomorrow, and spoke to bunkered.co.uk from Tulsa about his preparation.
The Inverness native feels this could be his chance to make his major breakthrough.
“The majors are obviously the hardest to win because all the superstars are here,” he said.
“I know that for me to contend it’s going to have to be a perfect storm; I’m going to have to play to my absolute best and hope some of the top guys don’t. But my game has been good and I’m as confident as I have been in a long time. I know that if I have a great week off the tee and drive the ball beautifully, you never know.
“Over the last couple of years everything has been trending in the right direction. The driver has been great this year and the iron play has fortunately always been pretty reliable. This year I’ve struggled a bit around the greens and the putting hasn’t quite been there. To push forward and contend that part has to sharpen up a little bit. The good thing about Southern Hills is you’re going to be rewarded for your tee-to-green game.”
Knox is one of two Scots in the field alongside Robert MacIntyre, and the 36-year-old believes the pair could be better-placed than most to take home the Wanamaker Trophy.
“I really don’t see it being a really low shoot-out,” he said.
“The forecast is for some windy weather and that’s going to highlight how difficult the course is.
“There’s a lot of holes with a high shot value, where you either hit a really good shot or you’re in big trouble. That kind of course is really good for us, especially the Scots because we’ve grown up playing in some very tricky conditions. It is a course which probably suits our game.”
Knox got the call to head to Oklahoma last weekend, and despite being a last-minute addition to the field, has been taking it in his stride.
“Once I got to second alternate I knew I had a pretty good chance,” he explained.
“I had to come out to Oklahoma and be on-site, and then on Sunday morning I got a text to say Paul Casey had withdrawn and that ultimately got me into the field.
“I found out in plenty of time to book accommodation and a flight and head on out to Tulsa. That part of it wasn’t too stressful because if I didn’t get in I didn’t get in. I wasn’t going to worry but as it got closer and closer there were rumblings of potential withdrawals, and it was a nice call to get to say I was in the field.
“It was nice to know early. Sometimes you travel as an alternate and you’re playing a practice round, but you don’t know if you’re actually going to get to play. It was nice to know as soon as I got on the plane that I was going to play, and to be able to practice this week knowing I’ve got a tee time.”
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