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Russell Knox has admitted that he felt a little uncomfortable playing in the company of his “hero” Tiger Woods for the first time today.

The Scot recovered well from a nervy bogey-bogey start in the opening round at Carnoustie to post a two-over opening round of 73 and afterwards he admitted to having been a little overawed by the company he kept.

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“Obviously, I’ve won three times and I’ve played in front of loads of people for the last eight years – but I think it’s a little different knowing who you’re playing with,” said Knox. “I think [Tiger] is the best golfer of all time. He’s definitely the person I looked up to. So getting to play with him is pretty unique.”

Russell Knox Open First Tee

Asked if he had been in awe of the former world No.1 and three-time Open champion, Knox added: “Yeah. I mean, I’m not going to lie. He’s a person I’ve seen on the range in the past. He’s almost like a mythical figure.

“I wanted to chat with him a little bit. Obviously, Hideki [Matsuyama] is not the easiest person to talk to with the language barrier. So I was like, yeah, I’m out here with Tiger for five hours, might as well talk to him.

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“I knew it was going to be an uncomfortable round. I was never going to feel like I was out playing with my buddies, just free-wheeling it, and that’s understandable. Major championship, Open in Scotland, playing with your hero, you’re never going to feel like you’re just winging it.

“So, I was overall fairly satisfied with how I did.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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