The old guys took back the sport this weekend. Russell Knox, a savvy, 30-year-old Scot, fired 20-under-par to restore order to golf at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai. We’re tired of the young guys taking it to the tour, so it was nice to see a veteran like Knox come away with the trophy.
At 30 years old, Russell Knox is the oldest PGA Tour winner since Aug. 23, a period spanning eight tournaments.
— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelESPN) November 8, 2015
Of course, he’s not very old by the normal standard. It’s just we’re coming off victories in this early season by players the age of 23, 23 and 22. This after a year that saw 22-year-old Jordan Spieth win two majors and the Tour Championship, Jason Day, 27, break the major-scoring record at the PGA Championship and Rickie Fowler, 26, win multiple tournaments to enter his hat into the best-young-player-in-the-game ring.
If you’re wondering why Tiger Woods’ pursuit of Jack Nicklaus is in danger, it’s not just because of his own advanced age. It’s mostly a result of the precocious talent tearing it up on tour. We haven’t evened mentioned Rory McIlroy yet.
Quote of the Day:
"China is now my favorite place in the world." -Russell Knox 🏆 pic.twitter.com/isXdONO6Z2
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) November 8, 2015
That has little to nothing to do with Knox, who, it should be said, is the oldest winner since Davis Love III (51 by the way) won the Wyndham Championship in August. Knox carded a fairly ho-hum 4-under 68 to best Kevin Kisner by two strokes at Sheshan International Golf Club. It was Knox’s first career PGA and WGC win in his first WGC start.
The story is quite extraordinary and one that once again validates the bizarre PGA schedule. Knox was the seventh reserve for the event and the the third alternate. He posted four rounds in the 60’s highlighted by Friday’s 7-under 65. With some of the big names teeing it up in Asia, Knox was the most consistent Thursday through Sunday.
Let’s go back to the age question, though, because there is some relevance here for the Jacksonville University product.
At 30, he has yet to establish himself among the elite players in the game. His best finish at a major was a T45 at the 2013 US Open at Merion. Aside from that, Knox has never played the Masters and he’s been cut at the other two events. He earned a shot at the Green Jacket by virtue of his win in China.
He’ll want it too. The PGA season dies down as the HSBC is the marquee event of the mid-fall. Knox will at least go into the break with good vibes. Unfortunately he won’t be eligible for the Ryder Cup because he has no status on the European Tour. But who knows, if he can hang with these youngsters maybe that’s enough.
"I was terrified!"
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) November 8, 2015