Knox Soaring With Pro-Career First Albatross At The Valspar

Top Scot Russell Knox was soaring in holing a 274-yard shot for an albatross and muscle his into contention on day one of the Valspar Championship in Tampa, Florida.

Knox was two-over par standing over his second shot at the par-5 11th hole n the Innisbrook course and when his second ran up onto the green and disappeared into the cup, the Scot found himself at one-under on the course famed for the closing three holes affectionately known as the  ‘Snake Pit’.

The current World No. 62 then grabbed three other birdies in a four-under par 67 to head to the clubhouse sharing third place in the $6.7m (£5.13m) event.

“Yeah, it’s a good way to go from plus 2 to minus one very quickly”, said Knox smiling broadly.

“The good thing is I didn’t even have to putt, which was great. No, I hit a beautiful drive and I knew that if I just hit a nice 3-wood down there I would be somewhere near the green and that’s really all I was looking for.

“I smoked it right on line and it was right down the flag the whole way and it just carried the bunker and it kicked on, rolled, rolled, rolled, rolled, and in she went.

“There was probably, had to be 15, 20, 25 people there so everyone, everyone cheered, but I mean from 270 yards you’re like, did it really go in? Maybe it’s just a foot away or something. But, no, it went in and I was, we were joking the whole way up.

“So always a — I mean a massive bonus, obviously. I would have been delighted with a birdie, let alone an albatross, so pretty cool.

“And the albatross really got me kick started into a really nice back nine.”

It was the now 33-year old Inverness-born Knox’s first albatross ‘2’ he says since he was a youngster on the 499-yard par-5 closing hole at Nairn Dunbar.

He said:  “I had one back in my home course at Nairn Dunbar back in Scotland on the last hole.

“I remember holing a 6-iron on this a shortish par-5. I didn’t see it go in.   And I witnessed a couple other ones too in my life, so it was cool to get one today.

“I’m just delighted as it’s very quick way to go from 2-over to 1-under, I promise you that.

“I enjoyed — I mean obviously it’s a massive bonus for it to go in. I was very happy with the beautiful shot and for it to go in the hole, huge bonus. I would have been delighted with a birdie, let alone an albatross.

“So, huge bonus and it really kick started a really good back nine.”

Knox arrived on the Florida west coast not only striving for a third PGA Tour success, and a first since 2016, but he is desperate to earn an invitation by March 31st into next month’s Masters.

Helping his cause was confirmation at the start of the week he secured a place among the world’s top-64 who will tee-up in next week’s WGC – Dell Match-Play Championship in Austin, Texas.

American Joel Dahmen and Austrian Sepp Straka headed the field early with five-under par with former World No. 1 and past Valspar winner, Luke Donald tied with Knox.


Comments are closed.