Scotland's Knox upbeat for pre-Open European events

Russell Knox plays a shot at the recent Travelers Championship

Scot Russell Knox is excited by his improving form as he enters a busy month on the European Tour.

First up for the US-based player is the Open de France at Le Golf National, venue for this year’s Ryder Cup.

Several encouraging finishes on the PGA Tour recently, plus a tie for 12th at the US Open, have heartened Knox.

“My form was never far away but now I’m starting to gain some confidence which was the final part of the puzzle,” he told BBC Scotland.

“My putting’s been pretty good and my ball-striking is probably the best it’s ever been.

“It’s exciting; there’s obviously a lot of golf coming up and a lot to play for and it’s a good time of year to get going.”

Following this week’s event in Paris, Inverness-born Knox heads next week to the Irish Open, where he finished joint-second in 2016, before the Scottish Open at Gullane starting on 12 July.

“I’ve played a lot recently in the US so I have to be careful to manage my energy levels right now, as there is a lot of golf ahead,” he said.

“The US Open took a lot out of me; I was very tired. My game is there, it’s just if I can get over this jet-lag quickly.

“But I’ve been looking forward to this stretch for the whole year. This tournament has massive hype this week with it being the Ryder Cup venue.

“I’ve had some good past success at the Irish Open. The Scottish Open is obviously a highlight of my year and hopefully I can cap it off with getting to the Open Championship [at Carnoustie, starting on 19 July].”

Knox, currently ranked 116th in the world, narrowly missed out on selection for the 2016 Ryder Cup.

It would take an incredibly successful summer to put him in contention for this year’s contest – he is currently 74th in the European standings – but he retains hope of making the European team at some point in future.

The 33-year-old believes Le Golf National is a fitting venue to host such an iconic sporting event.

“The course is in perfect shape,” Knox added. “It’s a spectacular place to be. The course is tight off the tee and there are a lot of demanding water-holes.”

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BBC Sport – Golf

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