SHANGHAI: Russell Knox became the first Scotsman ever to win a World Golf Championships event when he held off a world-class field for a two-stroke victory in Shanghai on Sunday.
His final round four-under par 68 at the $8.5 million WGC-HSBC Champions gave him a total of 268, 20-under par. Kevin Kisner of the US was second on 270 with English pair Danny Willett, who shot a final round 62, and Ross Fisher tied for third a further stroke behind.
Knox started the day at 85th in the world golf rankings and could now move into the top 30 when the new standings are announced on Monday.
The 30-year-old form Inverness, who is based in the United States and plays solely on the US PGA Tour, still had to play the final hole of his third round early Sunday after walking off in bad light after dusk on Saturday.
It proved a timely decision as with weather conditions more benign he picked up a birdie four to move into a share of the lead.
He carried the momentum through to the final round to card six birdies and two bogeys en route to his maiden victory and the $1.4 million winner’s cheque—by far the biggest payday of his career.
World number two Jordan Spieth had charged into contention on Saturday with a nine-under round of 63 but could not back it up in cooler conditions Sunday, registering a two-under 70 for a share of seventh place on 15-under par along with Chinese 20-year-old sensation Li Haotong.
Li had a torrid start to his final round with a double bogey and three bogeys in his first five holes, but showed his class and maturity by clawing back to a level-par round of 72 including a chip-in for par at the ninth after finding water that resulted in the biggest cheer of the day from his packed home town galleries.